Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Strike and Ready to Go

45,000 Verizon workers went out on strike last week in response to the company's refusal to bargain in good faith. Sensing the anti worker climate in our country right now, Verizon's demands seek to erase the benefits these workers have gained through decades of collective bargaining. From Laura Clawson at Dkos labor:
Verizon's demands include:
  • Continued contracting out of work to low-wage contractors, which means more outsourcing of good jobs overseas.
  • Eliminating disability benefits for workers injured while on the job.
  • Elimination of all job security provisions.
  • Eliminating paid sick days for new hires and limiting them to no more than five for any workers.
  • Freezing pensions for current workers and eliminating them for future employees.
  • Replacing the current high-quality health care plan with a high-deductible plan requiring up to $6,800 in additional costs.
Meanwhile, Verizon is doing just fine:
  • 2011 annualized revenues are $108 billion and annualized net profits are $6 billion.
  • Verizon Wireless just paid its parent company and Vodaphone a $10 billion dividend.
  • Verizon’s top five executives received compensation of $258 million over the past four years.
This is not a company that is struggling. This is a company that sees an opportunity to inflict pain on the very people who brought them prosperity, and they're going to take it.

This the class war we've seen in Wisconsin, moved to the private sector. Check out this site to see what you can do to help their efforts.

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