The media wants you to think that the unionized workers are spoiled. That the strike against Verizon solely revolves around paying into our healthcare. While this is an important part of what we are fighting for, there are other major issues that lie on the table.
A reduction of 20% in salary, removal of the pension plan already in place, major re-tooling of the employee’s 401k plan, removal of holidays, sick time and the most important one: job security. To save money, Verizon wants to ship unionized jobs overseas to places such as India and the Philippines.
Verizon wants you to believe that they are pleading poverty. While it is true that landlines have been declining due to the surge in wireless and Internet availability, Verizon has posted a profit of $27.5 billion dollars in the first two quarters of 2011.
Former CEO Ivan Seidenberg received total compensation of $36.75 million was ranked number 10 on Forbes Top Executive Pay in 2011
Lowell McAdam, Seidenberg’s successor, received $7,195,900.00 total compensation for 2010.
Since the Verizon spin is that this strike is about only healthcare, let me point out that both parties do not pay for their healthcare and will not ever do so for the rest of their lives.
This does not only affect Verizon’s customers’ service, but also the livelihoods of our families are affected during this work stoppage. Verizon has hired 10,000 scabs to do the work of 45,000 unionized workers, in addition to their staff of lower to middle-level management (Why aren’t higher-level managers assisting during the strike?). How long can an understaffed corporation continue to operate at this capacity without affecting the innocent customers who are expecting their new service installations, repairs, and ordering FiOS? This is, plain and simple, a fight against corporate greed.
I would be more than happy to get off the picket line and get back to work, but Verizon has yet to come to the negotiating table with a fair deal. This strike isn’t about the unionized workers being selfish and wanting more, more, more. It’s about keeping what we already have and what the union negotiated for us for the past 50 years.