Saturday, August 20, 2011

Verizon Strike Over, Workers and Management Back to the Table

The strike that has seen Verizon workers picketing on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, rallying in Cadman Plaza Park and marching over the Brooklyn Bridge is over for now.

The New York Times reports that union leaders have agreed to call off the strike because Verizon management "had finally agreed to engage in serious bargaining."The existing contract will remain in place while a new one is being negotiated.

More 45,000 Verizon landline (and Fios) workers have been on strike for almost two weeks. The company had asked for nearly 100 concessions, including wage cuts and increased employee contributions to health care plans, a freeze on existing pensions and the elimination of them altogether for new employees.

Christopher Calabrese, executive vice president of CWA 1109, told the Brooklyn Heights Press on Wednesday, “This strike is not just about Verizon. “It’s a fight for the middle class. Verizon is just one of several huge, very profitable companies trying to outsource jobs overseas — while they made $5 billion last year and received a $1.3 billion tax rebate. The middle class is saying enough is enough!”

The landline business, however, is not nearly as profitable to Verizon as the wireless business, which has lower maintenance costs and is mainly non-unionized. Americans in general, however, appear to be getting fed up with profitable corporations putting the squeeze on middle class workers. CNN Money takes a look at how both sides could win in this contest.

- Verizon Strikers Rally in Cadman Plaza Park

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

No comments: