Verizon landline and FiOS workers on strike

Verizon Communications is now dealing with the first strike against the company in 11 years. Today, over 45,000 workers at Verizon are currently not working for Verizon as a strike was called for by the company's unions (the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) on Saturday night. The Wall Street Journal reports that the strike is concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast parts of the US. Most of the workers handle jobs in Verizon's landline phone business as well as its FiOS telephone, TV and Internet service. The wireless division of Verizon is not a part of this strike.

The move to strike came at the end of the union worker's contract with Verizon. Representatives from the unions stated that in talks with Verizon, the company was demanding a number of concessions from its workers that the unions were not willing to give. They included workers paying to contribute to health coverage, freezing current pensions and more. In a statement, Verizon said that the unions broke off talks with the company which the unions deny. Verizon also claims that the company needs to keep costs in check in its wired phone businesses as it loses its market share to wireless phone carriers along with Internet phone companies like Skype and from cable TV companies that now offer phone service.

Verizon claims that it has already set up plans to deal with a possible strike that will "ensure customers experience limited disruption in service during this time.”

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Bottom line - Corporate Greed at its finest. Striking is a last ditch effort. Nobody wants to strike. I lose money as does Verizon. The customers do not get the service they pay for when we are on strike. Most people don't realize that we took major pay cuts to get our benefits where they are today. The contract in 1989 got us the benefits we have today - including the memory of Gerry Horgan - killed on the picket by a scab...Would you want to call his family and say - oh by the way his life was only worth 20 years of health benefits have a nice day.........

Faulty Scarab said,
The contract in 1989 got us the benefits we have today - including the memory of Gerry Horgan - killed on the picket by a scab...Would you want to call his family and say - oh by the way his life was only worth 20 years of health benefits have a nice day.........
The "scab" that killed him, did so accidentally. It was a manager's daughter that accidentally accelerated, which ran him over.

That's not to discount his life. But it certainly casts a different light on the death.

pickypg said,
The "scab" that killed him, did so accidentally. It was a manager's daughter that accidentally accelerated, which ran him over.

That's not to discount his life. But it certainly casts a different light on the death.

You know, it's so hard to keep track...is that pesky gas pedal on the left or right again? Could you tell me? It's just slips my mind so often.

She claims it as an accident, but I know quite a bit about picketing because of my father being in the union, and the number of times he's witnessed scabs 'accidentally' bump into someone with their car is more than I can count on all of my fingers & toes combined.

Sorry they need to pay something towards their health care. No if ands or buts! Their unit is failing...the other segment shouldn't have to take a hit so they can sit with free health care...thats just not smart business. Want to keep your benefits learn the wireless side of your business and move over...

Frank Burke said,
Sorry they need to pay something towards their health care. No if ands or buts! Their unit is failing...the other segment shouldn't have to take a hit so they can sit with free health care...thats just not smart business. Want to keep your benefits learn the wireless side of your business and move over...

Renegotiating insurance, fine. Freezing existing pensions effectively crippling a retired employees income who has 'done their bit for king & country' earns you a ride in the douche canoe.

Everyone seems to miss one simple little fact: Unions are businesses - NOT non-profits. They rely on union dues and fines to union members to stay in existence. What is sad about this is that a large number of these people striking are forced to by the union because they are under contract to, otherwise they are fined by the union. What is a more depressing thought still is that unions rarely look out for the employees they claim to represent unless what they are fighting for directly impacts the union itself. If I were a Verizon exec, I would hire 45000 people off the street to work the jobs of the people on strike so that they no longer have a job to go back to. If you want to 'stick it to the man' the union is the 'man' as they have rediculously large amounts of power while the corporations are bound by federal and state laws that already guarantee reasonable pay and safe working conditions. Unions are a relic of a draconian era that have little or no place in modern US.

rafter109 said,
Everyone seems to miss one simple little fact: Unions are businesses - NOT non-profits. They rely on union dues and fines to union members to stay in existence. What is sad about this is that a large number of these people striking are forced to by the union because they are under contract to, otherwise they are fined by the union. What is a more depressing thought still is that unions rarely look out for the employees they claim to represent unless what they are fighting for directly impacts the union itself. If I were a Verizon exec, I would hire 45000 people off the street to work the jobs of the people on strike so that they no longer have a job to go back to. If you want to 'stick it to the man' the union is the 'man' as they have rediculously large amounts of power while the corporations are bound by federal and state laws that already guarantee reasonable pay and safe working conditions. Unions are a relic of a draconian era that have little or no place in modern US.

I'm not a fan of unions in general, but this is a case where striking is the right thing to do.

Its not greed. I know someonet that works for them. And it is about always having to take cuts. They took hard cuts not to long ago according to my friend. The point is how can verizon expect these people to take cuts on there health care and/or salries when the exec do not take any. If the heads of the company aren't willing to change why should the others.

blozzo said,
Its not greed. I know someonet that works for them. And it is about always having to take cuts. They took hard cuts not to long ago according to my friend. The point is how can verizon expect these people to take cuts on there health care and/or salries when the exec do not take any. If the heads of the company aren't willing to change why should the others.
Because the pay to position ratio is wildly out of balance favoring the average laborer. Just like with the UAW figting to keep unskilled assembly line workers pay at around $35-45 an hour when in reality they should be glad to make $15 an hour. Unskilled laborers expect way too much. Get some skills or get a life!

"Verizon also claims that the company needs to keep costs in check in its wired phone businesses as it loses its market share to wireless phone carriers"

so they're losing customers primarily to themselves. yea that makes alot of sense verizon. stop BS'n and pay your damn employees.

Shea J said,
"Verizon also claims that the company needs to keep costs in check in its wired phone businesses as it loses its market share to wireless phone carriers"

so they're losing customers primarily to themselves. yea that makes alot of sense verizon. stop BS'n and pay your damn employees.

verizon and verizon wireless technically aren't the same company, verizon wireless is half vodaphone

Maybe if the average workforce decided to shut the US completely down, then things would change for the better. But it will never happen. In fact, I will be surprised if these workers on strike will even have a job in the future.

A lot of people are just happy to have a job right now. Seems to me there's a place and time for a strike, and that there's also a place and time to make some concessions and just be happy for what you have (and not make the situation worse). Ignorant outsiders view though.

thornz0 said,
A lot of people are just happy to have a job right now. Seems to me there's a place and time for a strike, and that there's also a place and time to make some concessions and just be happy for what you have (and not make the situation worse). Ignorant outsiders view though.

So let me hire you for a job, and sign a contract with you that guarantees you a certain level of health benefits & a retirement pension. Then once you get close to retirement let me pull your benefits, and then tell you that I've frozen your pension so that you can no longer be guaranteed the retire income that as your employer I am required to pay you.

Just to make sure you're ok with me stripping more cash out of your paycheck & decreasing your benefits as time goes on, just as long as there's something that resembles a positive balance in your bank account, right?

Mountain Dew said,

So let me hire you for a job, and sign a contract with you that guarantees you a certain level of health benefits & a retirement pension. Then once you get close to retirement let me pull your benefits, and then tell you that I've frozen your pension so that you can no longer be guaranteed the retire income that as your employer I am required to pay you.

Just to make sure you're ok with me stripping more cash out of your paycheck & decreasing your benefits as time goes on, just as long as there's something that resembles a positive balance in your bank account, right?

Don't expect a reply from em

MaSx said,

Don't expect a reply from em

Oh I'm not. Usually once I drop the bomb on someone like that they realize their argument was pointless & go back to hiding.

Mountain Dew said,

So let me hire you for a job, and sign a contract with you that guarantees you a certain level of health benefits & a retirement pension. Then once you get close to retirement let me pull your benefits, and then tell you that I've frozen your pension so that you can no longer be guaranteed the retire income that as your employer I am required to pay you.

Just to make sure you're ok with me stripping more cash out of your paycheck & decreasing your benefits as time goes on, just as long as there's something that resembles a positive balance in your bank account, right?

Or they could act responsibly and plan for your own retirement in case something like this happens. At least they would still have jobs instead of getting laid off, not making any money.

farmeunit said,

Or they could act responsibly and plan for your own retirement in case something like this happens. At least they would still have jobs instead of getting laid off, not making any money.

You're still missing the point. They are obligated by the terms of the employment contract you signed to pay your pension.

Hold on while I call the bank & randomly freeze your accounts. Now tell me, are you going to make a fuss about it, or should you have planned better by storing the money in your sofa cushions?

Also they wouldn't be laid off, a strike is workers VOLUNTARILY walking out until employers meet the conditions that are set forth by the labor union.

A lay off is when your employer isn't firing you, but needs to scale back on employees to save money.

There's a huge difference.

This is fighting for money owed, not just for the principle of it.

From the sounds of things though you don't mind being screwed & coming back for a second helping with a grateful smile on your face.

Verizon is sitting on big assets - it has $100 billion in revenue and net profits of $6 billion. Verizon Wireless just paid its parent company and Vodaphone a $10 billion dividend. Verizon's executive compensation is sky-high, and Chairman Ivan Seidenberg is paid 300 times what an average worker earns (55,000k a day). The top five company executives were paid more than a quarter of a billion dollars over the past four years.

Verizon has been planning for this strike for a while. They have been training/retraining middle management how to do various 'lesser' roles and telling them to keep quiet about it.

holdfast said,
Verizon has been planning for this strike for a while. They have been training/retraining middle management how to do various 'lesser' roles and telling them to keep quiet about it.

Source?

Union Greed at its best.. I'm sure there are 45,000 people out of 9.1 % in the US that would love to have a job with less than these people already get. If I was Verizon I'd be hiring people to take their place as soon as they walked out the door!

sava700 said,
Union Greed at its best.. I'm sure there are 45,000 people out of 9.1 % in the US that would love to have a job with less than these people already get. If I was Verizon I'd be hiring people to take their place as soon as they walked out the door!

Wait a minute, so it's greed when you are striking for the first time in 11 years to prevent the company you work for from making you pay more money for your insurance, freezing pensions that are OWED to workers, and various other items that would net the company more money for their executives, and screw the employees on pay & benefits?

I normally am not much of one for unions, but in this case the workers are striking for a reason. This isn't your typical 'wah give us more money & better stuff or we won't work'. This is, 'wait a minute here, you're not screwing me & other employees over. We're not working until you stop being greedy'.

So if Verizon said to you if you worked for them, hey you pay for your heath care as we can't be assed now, and freezing current pensions, etc. Would you sit there and go sure go ahead that's a briliant idea? I doubt you would.

sava700 said,
Union Greed at its best.. I'm sure there are 45,000 people out of 9.1 % in the US that would love to have a job with less than these people already get. If I was Verizon I'd be hiring people to take their place as soon as they walked out the door!

Dunno about greed, but jealousy is an ugly thing. Those people have worked hard for their company for many years, and expect to get what they were promised.

Just because you don't have it doesn't mean they don't deserve it.

sava700 said,
Union Greed at its best.. I'm sure there are 45,000 people out of 9.1 % in the US that would love to have a job with less than these people already get. If I was Verizon I'd be hiring people to take their place as soon as they walked out the door!
They didn't walk out the door, they merely acted in a lawful manner against a corporate entity that is trying to use the excuse of a recession to chicken out of paying it's employees. All this while basically raising their prices by imposing bandwith caps on land connections and trying to delay paying taxes to the government. As i see more and more companies using the recession to screw people and avoid taxes i wish all countries (even non comunist ones) would have a virtually mandatory union system like Germany.

StevenNT said,
So if Verizon said to you if you worked for them, hey you pay for your heath care as we can't be assed now, and freezing current pensions, etc. Would you sit there and go sure go ahead that's a briliant idea? I doubt you would.
Yes, I would sit there and refuse to strike. You know why? Because at least I would still have a ****ing job.

Mountain Dew said,

Wait a minute, so it's greed when you are striking for the first time in 11 years to prevent the company you work for from making you pay more money for your insurance, freezing pensions that are OWED to workers, and various other items that would net the company more money for their executives, and screw the employees on pay & benefits?

I normally am not much of one for unions, but in this case the workers are striking for a reason. This isn't your typical 'wah give us more money & better stuff or we won't work'. This is, 'wait a minute here, you're not screwing me & other employees over. We're not working until you stop being greedy'.

Pensions aren't OWED to anyone. They are a benefit. Sometime companies have to cut benefits. Most jobs don't have pensions at all, so freezing them temporarily isn't that bad of a deal. Unions are a joke. Look at the auto industry, and how much they got paid.

I do agree with you on their executives. They should cut pay cuts and pay in more as well.

Jombi said,
Yes, I would sit there and refuse to strike. You know why? Because at least I would still have a ****ing job.

Even if you strike you still have a job, you're just fighting for your benefits & so temporarily are taking a cut in pay (and not reporting actually working) in order to secure those benefits.

Do you have no clue how any of this works?

farmeunit said,

Pensions aren't OWED to anyone. They are a benefit. Sometime companies have to cut benefits. Most jobs don't have pensions at all, so freezing them temporarily isn't that bad of a deal. Unions are a joke. Look at the auto industry, and how much they got paid.

I do agree with you on their executives. They should cut pay cuts and pay in more as well.

If a legally binding contract is in place that guarantees a specific amount of payout over a specific term of years after a specific term of work is completed then you bet your ass it is owed.

That's like saying, so yeah Visa, I know I said I'd pay my bill after that 18 month of no interest, but I decided that I want to spend my money elsewhere so shove off, because I don't owe you anything.


The lack of common sense with some people in how contracts work is astounding

*Shaking my head*