Verizon: striking workers are committing sabotage

It's looking like a worker's strike against Verizon may not be ending anytime soon. News.com reports that Verizon has claimed that it has experienced over 70 acts of sabotage against the company since over 45,000 of its workers went on strike on Sunday. The workers mostly worked in Verizon's landline and FiOS departments. The Verizon Wireless division is not effected by the strike.

Verizon claims the sabotage incidents include numerous acts of vandalism, including evidence that fiber optic wires have been cut. The company also claims that some of its striking workers have been harassing others who have been brought in to fill some of the workers' positions. Verizon is even offering a $50,000 reward for info leading to the arrests of people who are discovered to be responsible for the sabotage incidents. A rep for the striking workers' unions, CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said that they expect striking workers to not commit illegal acts. At the same time, the same rep claims that a number of striking workers who have been picketing outside a number of Verizon offices have been hit by cars driven by replacement workers and managers. Verizon has also been granted injunctions in New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware designed to limit workers picketing outside Verizon offices.

As we have reported before, the unions claim that Verizon is demanding a number of concessions from its workers including asking workers to pay to contribute to their health coverage, freezing current pensions and more. Both Verizon and union reps claim that they are willing to talk even as the strike continues.

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In this economic climate they should be happy to have jobs. I have no sympathy for people being asked to contribute to their health coverage. Welcome to the real world unions...

M_Lyons10 said,
In this economic climate they should be happy to have jobs. I have no sympathy for people being asked to contribute to their health coverage. Welcome to the real world unions...

You're forgetting the part where these workers at Verizon already took a pay cut to guarantee these benefits, in essence paying for them.

So they took a pay cut, and then the company decided to ream them again.


I should only hope you'd be so lucky as to experience this firsthand...and remember when you do...you have no rights whatsoever and you have to take it up the tailpipe...but remember no sympathy.

Mountain Dew said,

You're forgetting the part where these workers at Verizon already took a pay cut to guarantee these benefits, in essence paying for them.

So they took a pay cut, and then the company decided to ream them again.


I should only hope you'd be so lucky as to experience this firsthand...and remember when you do...you have no rights whatsoever and you have to take it up the tailpipe...but remember no sympathy.


I think somebody needs a hug. Its this simple. Don't like how you are being treated? Go get a new job. Why is it that difficult? Really? Nuff said.

cjbeckwith said,


I think somebody needs a hug. Its this simple. Don't like how you are being treated? Go get a new job. Why is it that difficult? Really? Nuff said.

Some of these people have multiple years invested in working for this company WITH a pension plan. So they'd have to start all over in another industry.

Let me have you work 19 years with a pension plan and then cut it just before you retire AFTER you took a pay cut to guarantee the benefits per a legal contract & see if you're happy.


You walk into Starbucks & buy a Frappucino...

Barista turns around and starts doing other stuff totally ignoring that you just PAID for something.

You pipe up: "Excuse me but I just paid for a Frappucino."

The barista looks at you and smiles and says: "You sure did, now go F yourself."

That's the current situation, but multiply by about 20,000 the importance.

Edited by Mountain Dew, Aug 13 2011, 1:19am :

I work in a union shop now and have in others also. Although I'm not now, or ever been a big fan of unions due to their relentless antics of basically not co-operating with the company they work for when it comes to any type of change in work environment, they can still have a place in the work force.

If unions actually worked along side their company counter parts instead of typically against them, it wouldn't be nearly as bad and I feel most companies wouldn't have such issues with the union.

Instead though, all unions want to do is save the worthless a** employees that should've been dismissed long before crap has to go to arbitration. That is my biggest stink against unions. I know they're all about protecting workers rights and such, been when an employee is a flat out worthless a**hole, get rid of them!!

Jeremy R Kroeker said,
There seems to be a coordinated attack on unions and workers' rights in general, across many fronts.

there seems to be a coordinated attack on responsibility, accountability, and rewarding individuals for their own merits and capabilities.

Mountain Dew, you are either a union member or completely naive. Unions have long outlived their useful purpose. If you are a driven individual with a valid skillset, there is simply no reason for being in a union. I am a big boy. If I am not being treated fairly at my place of employment, I will simply find employment elsewhere. Your description of sleeping on the bosses floor and eating crackers is ridiculous. I am sure that was a potential in the 1800's, but I am fairly sure in this day and age there are enough regulations in place to make sure that would not occur. At least here in the states. In many instances the union holds a company hostage with unrealistic demands. As several individuals have stated, in this day and age it is unrealistic to continue to press for "free" healthcare. Get with the times. Sorry if this comes off rude but I have dealt with this mentality too many times. There are no free lunches. Go out and make something happen for yourself, work hard and reap the rewards.

cjbeckwith said,
Mountain Dew, you are either a union member or completely naive. Unions have long outlived their useful purpose. If you are a driven individual with a valid skillset, there is simply no reason for being in a union. I am a big boy. If I am not being treated fairly at my place of employment, I will simply find employment elsewhere. Your description of sleeping on the bosses floor and eating crackers is ridiculous. I am sure that was a potential in the 1800's, but I am fairly sure in this day and age there are enough regulations in place to make sure that would not occur. At least here in the states. In many instances the union holds a company hostage with unrealistic demands. As several individuals have stated, in this day and age it is unrealistic to continue to press for "free" healthcare. Get with the times. Sorry if this comes off rude but I have dealt with this mentality too many times. There are no free lunches. Go out and make something happen for yourself, work hard and reap the rewards.

Nope, not a union member, and generally am not a fan of them. This is a case however where Verizon is in the wrong.


Show me a business that is non-union that in general provides good pay, decent benefits, and any sort of attempt at affordable retirement benefits. Show me just one.

As a point of interest. I don't work for a union. I work for a contract agency that supplies my services to Microsoft on a 'semi-permanent' basis...which basically means my contract has no end date.

I'd paid somewhat well, and life is nowhere near rough.

Your mentality however is something I've dealt with many times as well. You think it's ok for a company to step on its workers & violate its contracts.

I can't wait until it happens to you and see how you feel about it.

Mountain Dew said,

Show me a business that is non-union that in general provides good pay, decent benefits, and any sort of attempt at affordable retirement benefits. Show me just one.

The last two jobs I've worked at have been non-union and they paid/pay more than Verizon does, with better benefits.

Unions were essential in trade jobs because the idea was that the workers had nowhere else to go and thus could be exploited. This was especially prevalent in industries like mining where people were dying and not even making ends meet.

What they are today is a drain on everyone since people know they can't get fired unless they do something illegal, and even then your union buddies will cover for you.

Davo said,

The last two jobs I've worked at have been non-union and they paid/pay more than Verizon does, with better benefits.

Unions were essential in trade jobs because the idea was that the workers had nowhere else to go and thus could be exploited. This was especially prevalent in industries like mining where people were dying and not even making ends meet.

What they are today is a drain on everyone since people know they can't get fired unless they do something illegal, and even then your union buddies will cover for you.

Exactly. Obviously you get it. I am paid very well, have great benefits and an excellent 401K package. I also wouldn't let a company walk on me and have a good enough skillset where I could walk and be employed the next day. Not too worried about it.

There are plenty of non-union companies out there that take care of their employees. There are plenty of vendor's I would go work for (EMC/VMware), Value added resellers as well as private companies that "get it".

Verizon has not hired outside contractors. They are currently using non union managers to replace the union members on strike. The real reason there is a strike is because of the new ceo who stepped in. He was from Verizon Wireless (non union) and he wants to bring all his ideas of no union to regular Verizon now. As soon as he started on Aug 2, he gave himself a 1.1 million dollar raise on top of his already 55,000 dollar a day pay....Maybe they should pass around some of the wealth instead of being greedy. Besides him, the other 5 top executives made around 272 million dollars for the year. A top pay verizon tech makes around 60,000 a year..... All we wanted to do was continue on with the current contract. But he wants to take everything that has been bargained for over the past 50 years and go back to 1960.....

Faulty Scarab said,
Verizon has not hired outside contractors. They are currently using non union managers to replace the union members on strike. The real reason there is a strike is because of the new ceo who stepped in. He was from Verizon Wireless (non union) and he wants to bring all his ideas of no union to regular Verizon now. As soon as he started on Aug 2, he gave himself a 1.1 million dollar raise on top of his already 55,000 dollar a day pay....Maybe they should pass around some of the wealth instead of being greedy. Besides him, the other 5 top executives made around 272 million dollars for the year. A top pay verizon tech makes around 60,000 a year..... All we wanted to do was continue on with the current contract. But he wants to take everything that has been bargained for over the past 50 years and go back to 1960.....

And based on many people's experience, including mine, getting rid of the Union would be a step in the right direction for ANY company right now.

z0phi3l said,

And based on many people's experience, including mine, getting rid of the Union would be a step in the right direction for ANY company right now.

Indeed, so let's add cost to the operation by having separate contracts for each employee, non-binding agreements that shift per person & must be tracked, as opposed to a single contract system that is negotiated every so many years, and provides protection for both the business and the workers.

I'm not much for unions, but I'm even more against stupidity.

Mountain Dew said,

Indeed, so let's add cost to the operation by having separate contracts for each employee, non-binding agreements that shift per person & must be tracked, as opposed to a single contract system that is negotiated every so many years, and provides protection for both the business and the workers.

I'm not much for unions, but I'm even more against stupidity.

yeah what a crazy idea. Pay somebody a fair wage based on their individual capabilities! How stupid! /s

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
Individual employees already sign individual contracts no matter if it's union or not.

Not quite. If you're union you do sign a standard employment contract, but it's based on terms that are negotiated by the union for scale, not on a person by person basis.

It saves a ton of time or paperwork.

Bring back the jobs to the US and accept what the companies can and will offer to pay you. Otherwise you guys are in for a treat. Sooner or later chaos will strike just like it did in several countries a few years ago. The US is no immune to this problems.

9.1% of the US is out of work right now... people are just too damn greedy and need to go to work. If I was one going in to work and was harassed by a striking member I'd call the law right there..simple as that.

unions are irrelevant anymore. they used to be a pro-worker group. Now they are just out after the big $$$ and Obama's Admin loves them

lol at all the union haters, Verizon signed a contract with the union, Verizon is deliberately breaching the contract, Verizon is not hurting financially and has no good reason to demand concessions or anything else from its union workers.
Union workers are being replaced by scabs and even hit by cars, its the unions fault though, it must be, yes sir...

James Riske said,
lol at all the union haters, Verizon signed a contract with the union, Verizon is deliberately breaching the contract, Verizon is not hurting financially and has no good reason to demand concessions or anything else from its union workers.
Union workers are being replaced by scabs and even hit by cars, its the unions fault though, it must be, yes sir...

They deserve most of what they are demanding. People just love to hate.

James Riske said,
lol at all the union haters, Verizon signed a contract with the union, Verizon is deliberately breaching the contract, Verizon is not hurting financially and has no good reason to demand concessions or anything else from its union workers.
Union workers are being replaced by scabs and even hit by cars, its the unions fault though, it must be, yes sir...

I maybe wrong here, but the story stated their contract was up. Meaning Verizon and the union get to renegotiate the contract. Yeah paying in a bit for benefits sucks I'm not the first to admit it, but Verizon is right. Might as well shut down that part if their business if they can't make money running it. So striking workers choose to cooperate or don't have a job. Not like thy are asking a $10 an hour pay cut. It honestly could be worse.

James Riske said,
lol at all the union haters, Verizon signed a contract with the union, Verizon is deliberately breaching the contract, Verizon is not hurting financially and has no good reason to demand concessions or anything else from its union workers.
Union workers are being replaced by scabs and even hit by cars, its the unions fault though, it must be, yes sir...

Get with the times, companies cannot continue to operate with unrealistic demands from unions. Pay into health benefits.... join the club, freeze pensions... what pensions. Unions are crippling most states, here in NJ it took an act of the Governor to change the pensions because the Teachers union had such a death grip on the state. There are no contracts, pensions, tenure, etc in the private sector (mostly).. you know why... companies cant afford it, and neither can the states. Unions used to make sense and and still do in plenty of trades... but their lack to adapt to the financials of a company/state is going to be their own downfall.

It would be one thing if they were trying to actually cut salaries or lay off a huge number of the workforce but God forbid these people have to pay for health insurance now. Unions are supposed to help the worker from getting screwed, not have the company that pays them by the balls.

Dusco25 said,
hand them all pink slips and start hiring new workers.

Do you have any idea the sort of effort it takes to hire one qualified individual, never mind several thousand? It's not impossible, but that's an action of last resort where the only alternative is bankruptcy.

While collective bargaining agreements are generally thought of as a way for employees to get a better deal - they also offer management some benefits. For one, it's much easier to negotiate one contract than thousands. Individually negotiating wages for each employee, vacation time, handling complaints, structuring promotions (especially in unskilled labor) etc. are made substantially less complex when a company deals with a union.

In the case of trades a company can also be assured of minimum levels of technical competency which is attested the union. If a plumber can prove membership to a state or nationally recognized union then I know they'll have at least a minimum level of qualification and they're pretty likely to be able to unclog my toilet -- that's not something I can be certain of if I call "Jim's Discount Plumbing and Pizza delivery".

evn. said,

Do you have any idea the sort of effort it takes to hire one qualified individual, never mind several thousand? It's not impossible, but that's an action of last resort where the only alternative is bankruptcy.

While collective bargaining agreements are generally thought of as a way for employees to get a better deal - they also offer management some benefits. For one, it's much easier to negotiate one contract than thousands. Individually negotiating wages for each employee, vacation time, handling complaints, structuring promotions (especially in unskilled labor) etc. are made substantially less complex when a company deals with a union.

In the case of trades a company can also be assured of minimum levels of technical competency which is attested the union. If a plumber can prove membership to a state or nationally recognized union then I know they'll have at least a minimum level of qualification and they're pretty likely to be able to unclog my toilet -- that's not something I can be certain of if I call "Jim's Discount Plumbing and Pizza delivery".

I've noticed that this is not always the case. In the case of teachers unions. Tenure. Good for the teachers, bad for the kids. My daughter has an art teacher that won't be let go, even though he's been caught by several students looking at child pornography during class, because he has tenure. Fortunately, for my daughter, he's being moved to a different school in the district because her school can no longer fund the art program. Other subpar teachers are kept there while newer, superior teachers are let go. In the case of the firefighters union here in Las Vegas, NV, we have firefighters here that make millions per year because they have no cap on how high salaries can be raised. Meanwhile, the rest of the state's budget is struggling because of the stranglehold the public unions have on the state. While I hear what you are saying, I believe that this can be done without unions.

In the case of teachers unions. Tenure. Good for the teachers, bad for the kids.

Tenure isn't a concept that applies specificly to unions. University professors in general are not unionized and yet nearly every university or college has the program.

That's an issue tangent to trade unions.


My daughter has an art teacher that won't be let go, even though he's been caught by several students looking at child pornography during class, because he has tenure.

That's an extremely serious charge - the sort of thing that ends a persons career even on suspiscion. If what you're saying is true, and you haven't reported it to the police they you've done something horribly wrong.

The police are obligated to investigate any sex crimes reported by students (including child pornography) -- that's not the sort of thing they're likely to brush under the rug.

I guess the question is: "what's more likely: a school has a conspiracy to keep a pedofile in a room full of kids and the police didn't bother to investigate the claimes, or that some kids made up a story about a teacher they disliked?"

Other subpar teachers are kept there while newer, superior teachers are let go.

I'm curious how you determine what a sub-par teacher looks like.

I mean, when you look around your office, or at the staff in a walmart, how many sub-par employees do you find as a percentage of the total? Are there really that many more sub-par teachers in american schools?

In the case of the firefighters union here in Las Vegas, NV, we have firefighters here that make millions per year because they have no cap on how high salaries can be raised.

Source?

I had a quick look at [url=http://firelink.monster.com/ca...ities-for-firefighters]this place[/url] and found Oakland as the top paying city (80k/year average) which doesn't seem that bad for a job where risking life and limb is par for the course.

I tried searcing for "las vegas million firefighter" and only found articles like "North Las Vegas Firefighters take pay to to save 35 jobs". They're giving up 5% of their base pay to save $2m which saves 35 jobs.

I'm no math major, but $2m / 35 jobs looks like less than $60k per year total compensation. Given a typical benefits plan is around 10-15% of total compensation, that puts a typical firefighter in that city making a little better than "average" income (median income is $53k in Las Vegas, or about 65k after benefits).


A quick check on [url=http://www.payscale.com/resear...er/Salary]payscale.com[/url] seems to indicate a firefighter in las vegas makes somewhere between 25k and 75k on average which is pretty much dead on with what we expected based on the other source.

Lastly,

[url=http://www2.8newsnow.com/salar...limit=50&agency=all]CBS news afiliate published salary details for a number of high-ranking members of the Las Vegas fire department[/url] and they've got nothing in the same order of magnitude that you're claiming.

The real issue is, Our elected reps in DC have spent numerous years destroying this economy with anti-business practises. The bottom line is the key factor here.. profits.

now with many new faces on unemployment, the outhouse that makes up this country is stinking worse everyday. Stocks down, Foreclosures, high unemployment, global financial chaos.. things look bleak

"pay to contribute to their health coverage, freezing current pensions and more." - Yea I think North Carolina just did that to every state worker and teacher and they aren't allowed to strike It's sad. I agree with them fighting to keep their ground (as much as they can) but let's not be greedy and disrupt customer's lives by cutting fiber lines, etc.

cybertimber2008 said,
"pay to contribute to their health coverage, freezing current pensions and more." - Yea I think North Carolina just did that to every state worker and teacher and they aren't allowed to strike It's sad. I agree with them fighting to keep their ground (as much as they can) but let's not be greedy and disrupt customer's lives by cutting fiber lines, etc.

Why's it sad? Don't you get that States are cannot afford the pensions etc.? Would you rather continue down this path and it be bankrupt in 20 years or start making changes now so that the system will continue in the future? Do you think it's fair to those paying into the system now and won't retire for 20 or more years that they won't get anything for the money they've put in? We've just had a 2.5% increase for teachers and state workers in Alabama to ensure the system is still around in 20 years.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,

Why's it sad? Don't you get that States are cannot afford the pensions etc.? Would you rather continue down this path and it be bankrupt in 20 years or start making changes now so that the system will continue in the future? Do you think it's fair to those paying into the system now and won't retire for 20 or more years that they won't get anything for the money they've put in? We've just had a 2.5% increase for teachers and state workers in Alabama to ensure the system is still around in 20 years.

The key is for the state to not make promises they can't keep. But like private industry that is an ideal that we'll never get to.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
Democratic administrations are the ones who make those debt-causing promises, and Republican administrations are vilified when they have to clean up after them.

That's actually backwards. In the last 30-years we've had Republican presidents spending, and the Democrats saving.

Just look at Bill Clinton. It's pretty much the first time in US history that the deficit actually reversed. We had a huge surplus when he left office...and we all know who took over after him & spent it all.

littleneutrino said,
if you think about it if they are not caught doing it then they have job security because then they have to repair the lines

No, they're replacements do that.