Verizon Workers Fight Back

Incredible video footage from the picket lines. Hear from Verizon workers what this fight is really about. Learn more: and

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The Verizon Strike as the Next Wisconsin

by Mark Engler

Mark Engler

The picket lines are up. This past weekend 45,000 Verizon workers on the East Coast, represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), went on strike. The cause of the strike was the company’s attempts to win massive concessions from the unions. Verizon argued that the employees should give up gains they had won over many years of struggle and negotiation in previous contract fights.

As the Wall Street Journal put it, “Verizon Communications Inc. is seeking some of the biggest concessions in years from its unions.” Demands include the weakening of health-care benefits, cuts in pensions, reduced job security, and elimination of paid holidays such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This despite the fact that the company reported billions in profit last year, and that, in the words of New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse, “Verizon’s top five executives received a total of $258 million in compensation, including stock options, over the last four years.” The unions argue that Verizon has made some $20 billion in profit in the same time period, and Citizens for Tax Justice has pointed out that the company has done so while paying little to nothing in corporate income taxes.

Without a doubt, this is a conflict of national significance. Continue reading

Winner in LabourStart’s Video of the Year Contest

Congratulations to the winner of LabourStart‘s 2011 video of the year contest.

Workers will protest at Verizon shareholders meeting on May 7

Louisville, KY — CWA and IBEW are supporting three shareholder proposals at Verizon’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 7 in Louisville, KY to improve corporate governance.

“Shareholders should have the right to pool their votes for the election of one or more directors rather than apply their votes to the election of all directors,” said IBEW corporate governance advisor Greg Kinczewski. “Known as ‘cumulative voting,’ it would increase the possibility of electing directors with independent views from management. Better shareholder representation on the board at Verizon is long overdue.”
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Black and white CAN unite for a fair hiring system in construction

By Herman Benson
Democratic Left Winter 2008

These comments are stimulated by Bill Fletcher’s interesting piece on black labor (Democratic Left, Fall 2007). He wrote, “Black labor must not only speak for the black worker but black labor must be the voice speaking on behalf of all workers.” This excellent principle could be put into actual practice in the construction trades where, I am convinced, black and white cooperation could lead to progressive reform for all.

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