We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred.
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt, announcing the Second New Deal, 1936
This morning at 6am, almost 40,000 East Coast Verizon workers went on strike after from Massachusetts down to Virginia unions representing them were unable to reach agreement with Verizon. The work stoppage includes thousands of workers in New Jersey, and members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) and IBEW, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Among the issues are requirements that employees spend up to two months working away from their homes and families and contracting out good-paying call center jobs to Mexico, the Philippines and Dominican Republic. Contract negotiations with storefront retail-center workers, who unionized two years ago, are also currently stalled. The striking workers are employed by Verizon’s wireline business, the traditional landline phone service plus its fiber optic network, which provides Internet, phone and video service. Picket lines are in several NJ locations and outside some local retail Verizon stores. Verizon generated almost $132 billion in revenues in 2015 – a staggering $1.5B in profits every month, according to CWA.
Bernie in NJ? For a few minutes this morning, there was a rumor flying around that Bernie Sanders had joined striking Verizon workers in Livingston, NJ. In fact, it was Brooklyn (CBS video). Sanders’ words prompted a harsh rebuke from Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam filled with a lot of business phraseology like hyper-competitive economy and transformational forces that appear to be business-speak for their case that it’s perfectly OK to move Verizon call center jobs out of the country,
If you’re following the strikers on Twitter, hashtag #StandUp2Vz. Some photos from today. Photo credits, below.
PHOTOS: We’re grateful to the following folks for posting strike photos from today: Roberto Cabañas, Anne Deak, John Connelly & CWA NJ.