Thousands Of Verizon Workers Strike Over Labor Contract Talks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Union workers marched in front of Verizon’s headquarters Sunday, several wearing signs that say “CWA on strike against Verizon’s corporate greed.”

“We’re hard workers and we deserve a fair contract. And the company that we work for right now thinks that we don’t deserve a fair contract. They put a lot of proposals up on the table that were unfair to our working conditions here at this building,” Al Russo, Chief Steward of the Communications Workers of America, told CBS 2’s Wendy Gillette.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports

The 45,000 Verizon employees, members of the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers say working conditions are just the start of what the company wants to cut. They say the contract concessions Verizon has demanded will take the workforce back to 1960’s levels of wages, benefits and working conditions.

“It’s the first time they’ve ever really asked for givebacks across the board on our contract. Usually it’s about one or two things. This time it’s about everything,” union worker Greg Albi told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

The strike does not involve employees of Verizon Wireless so it won’t affect service. The contract covers telephone and repair technicians, wireline customer service representatives and operators.

“The company actually do have the money to pay our pension, to give us a pension, to give us a fair and decent raise, to also pay for our medical. We, as workers, we want our bread and roses too,” said Anita Long, shop steward of the CWA.

Verizon says it needs to control costs because of a decline in its non wireless business.

“The union needs to realize times have changed, businesses have changed. People in general get their telephone service and their internet service from a variety of providers, not just Verizon, and we’re competing against providers that are non-union,” said John Bonomo, Verizon’s Director of Media Communications.

The workers aren’t buying it.

“We built this company. This network was built because of the workers, and we want to keep our contract intact,” Russo said.

Verizon said the strike won’t affect customers because it’s replacing the striking employees with other workers.

This is a scene that plays out every decade or so.  Verizon workers struck in 1989 for 17 weeks, and in the year 2000 for three weeks.

Two workers were critically injured in the last strike when they tried to sabotage a phone line in Baldwin and mistakenly cut a high-voltage power cable.

Are you concerned over this strike? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Union Supporter

    The Union is also trying to protect the Verizon retirees. Do you think it is fair for those that have given 25, 30, 35 years to a company to all of a sudden have their pension cut? Have their medical benefits cut or done away with? Where would that leave the thousands of elderly that cannot get jobs at their age? Verizon makes billions in profits from a company that has been built by it’s many workers…past, present and future. Without the workers there is NO company. They are not looking for “extras”…they just want to keep what has been fought for over the years. SUPPORT THEM!!

  • Jenine Thompson

    Verizon paid no taxes last year zip, zilch, zero however I paid taxes at a rate of 37% on the dollar. You know those little things that keeps the unemployment benefits coming. More over what was left was spent to keep the economy going.

  • M.A.D


    • Blasterific

      You are an ignoramus.

  • frankly

    Verizon made billions in PROFITS last year the CEO makes 23 million a year and they want to take and cut from the little guy what a crock of shyt fight for what you want stand strong and united brothers and sisters the assault on the middle class has to stop

    • Paul

      Billionaires and slaves. Welcome to the American economy for the new Millenium. Billionaires and slaves. And the disparity between the two is growing bigger every day…. And there’s not much that individual workers can do to change it, and here’s a 45,000 member union that is having difficulty changing that fact. Well, you can always ask the CEOs to be less greedy, but then again, you’d probably have more luck asking Hitler to wear a yarmulke.

  • vr

    Contribute every week to healthcare than when u go to the doctor they charge u what insurance doesn”t cover. You pay twice. We are fools.

  • Mark Moberly

    As the strikers said- They want bonuses above what the normal worker gets “roses”. Union workers in a firm that is on the way out such as landline providers need to see to direction of the future, instead of living in the past. When the standard pay increase is less than a dime in most businesses currently the union needs to see reality. Firms with unions also pay on average, 97% of health insurance costs. This perk alone is enough to accept any contract with the company. What a firm pays in health premiums amounts to nearly $10 per hour for the union worker. The days of needing unions are long past in most industries. Let them be dismissed and hire new workers who want to work instead of getting paid to do as little as possible. (And for those who think I am not a union worker- until I was laid off by the union and the company, I was one for many years.

    • Jenine Thompson

      Glad to hear you were laid off,Hope you and your family are starving, however cwa will previal

      • LG

        To Jenine Thompson: Wow, that was heartless. I am a union employee, and I can say that you do not represent me. Take your comments elsewhere.

        As for Sick Heart, do you always make generalizations based on one person’s comments? Unions do not breed anything. Ignorance however breeds still more ignorance. Maybe you should do a little research before lumping all union workers into one bag. There are good and bad unions just as there are educated and ignorant posters.

      • Sick Heart

        You are the typical union THUG. You are a beast, less than human, for even thinking something like that, much less saying it out loud. Everybody out there, this is what unions breed, animals who only care about their union and to hell with everybody who doesn’t see things their way. If you have a conscience, you will think about what you said, and apologize. If not, you will sleep well regardless. When you are standing before almighty GOD, HE will not be asking if you were a good unionist. Work on that cold heart before you die.

  • fox1

    This is a rough time to be on strike unless u were smart like verizon & prepared for it. I think somebody is going to give up something workers may have to pay something for their healthcare if it will keep the company afloat. if it goes belly up no one will get anything. The company shouldnt try to make workers take a pay cut & cut benefits & reduce workers to unfair workin conditions thats a bit much. How about working together.

  • Frank N Footer

    This is the wrong time to strike. These unionized people should be grateful and fortunate to even have a decent paying job. Unionized or not, no one should go on strike during this recession that we are still in (Yes, you heard me…the recession is not over yet). Verizon and other telecom companies are know to ship jobs overseas to countries such as India and the Philipines where they are much cheap to hire at $5,000 per year. You simply cannot ask for more when you already got the basics for everything.

    Get off the sidewalks Union people and get back to work!

    • Stack of Pancakes

      These once great unions that protected American workers are now destroying our country. These Verizon workers are actually making things worst for them and the people watching them are asking themselves why are they striking during this bad time?!?

  • apu

    Fire them all and replace them with Indians !

    • Frank N Footer

      At $5,000 per year with a PH D degree in Engineering, those Indians are a lot cheaper alternative to Unionized workers.

    • Jenine Thompson

      I wouldn’t mind that if all the indians would go home they can have the jobs and we’ll take their jobs here

  • thinkalil deeper

    America is no longer anything to be proud of!!! the corporations have blinded everyone into thinking be thankful you have a job.. thats with the rise in unemployment,that way someone will do YOUR job for less and you become expendable regardless of qualifications which increases productivity thru fear of unemployment. the unions were what made middle class, now that is fading along with them. when those who are in the so called real world (yea ok cause if u knew anything u would know there are things called deductions on a check which includes health care and u name it) lose their job because a new college grad who has a loan the size of a mortgage with interest in the double digits takes it for less. then the coffee will be to cold to aroma…….

  • Wow rreally

    Both sides are being greedy. The union did not build this company and now are asking for there “bread and roses too” Greed pure and simple. Also look at your own union presidents salary. Oh don’t forget to add the under the table monies.

    On the other hand, the company executives are raping this company as are the other executives of other companies. They should be ashamed of themselves. But it is our own gov. officials that have made the laws that allow this type of greed.

    However, I do believe this is the wrong time for the union to make stand of this nature with so many out of work and willing to step up for work. There are a lot of families hurting out there that need money to make ends meet. If you had been out of a job for over a year and your family losing their home and nothing seems to be going your way, you would cross that line also.

    Someone mentioned that some striking workers were run over by replacement workers. My suggestion – Get out of the road as there are more people out of a job than belong to all the unions put together. There will be more trucks coming! Honk Honk…..get out of the way – people going to work.

    PS – Does a striking working get unemployment benefits? If not – Does that mean the unemployment numbers will look better. If so – Good luck on getting help from Obama…

    • Michael Korres

      Bargaining Update
      08/07/2011 – 1:31pm
      Message from The General Counsel:

      Although we are on strike, we have not yet reached an impasse in negotiations. The law requires the parties to continue negotiations in good faith. Until an impasse has been reached the company, under the law, may not unilaterally impose its proposed changes to terms and conditions of employment which it gave to the unions at the bargaining table.

      You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits. However, be aware that if it is ultimately determined that the strike prevented the company from providing its services at 80% or more of its normal levels, you will not be entitled to it and you may be obligated to pay it back if you had already received it.

      Paul Levinson,

      General Counsel, Local 827

    • giemma

      just because you are unemployee and a coward through all fault of your own , dont begrudge people from trying to save the middle class . Old people,medical patients, big business and certian alarms companies dont work on wireless..If the company wants us to make concessions , who is that helping and who is profitting? If Verizon can make ends meets with billions in profits, management is the problem, not the workers.

      • wow rreally


        Not unemployee and not a coward. I have a job – Very good job – pays really well. I am greatful everyday at how blessed I am to have this job.

        I stated facts. People are hurting out there. People who have been laidoff for a long time are desparate. They are watching everything “they” worked for disappear and see their family member hurting. These are good people – normally. But just like the union worker who is making threats or even worse following through on them when people cross that line, the person crossing that line sees it as a no choice situation. Back into that corner they will fight.

        All I am saying is – they are in the car or truck – Your standing in the middle of the road. Who’s going to win?

  • nate

    exactly why the economy is like this after former President Bush cut taxes for the rich.. All they do is pocket the money..creating jobs and helping their employees is not a concern for them. plus i pay 60 dollars just for Internet on two phones and 40 dollars a month for high speed internet.all this money version out your people or ill switch to another carrier.

  • LG

    “Verizon says it needs to control costs because of a decline in its non wireless business.” <—What BS!

    People, PLEASE get your heads out of your butts and stop believing the corporate "elite" when they tell you that you have to share in the sacrifice of their mistakes. This mind-set is what is killing jobs for the middle class. You let the CEOs tell you that you are part of the problem. Meanwhile, the failing corporate execs get bonuses because "they are just too valuable to the company not to." Do you all really believe this crap? The ones who do are the first ones to be brainwashed into arguing AGAINST workers' rights. You brought your situation yourselves despite the best efforts of the unions to improve working conditions across the board. People need lessons in history. Hope you enjoy getting off your holidays–unions fought for that, but go ahead and slap them in the collective face. I'm tired of the ignorance…

    It saddens me that folks are going out of their way to call these people lazy. I suppose that the utility companies are lazy, too, since they haven't lowered my rates–shared sacrifice, you know.

  • Jack

    Ibn, what I see that you and many other commentators on here dont seem to understand is that Verizon is not suffering so neither should its workers. Verizon doesn’t need to do this to its workers. Verizon is just following the current trend that’s going on of trying to destroy unions.

  • JJ

    People are starting to get pinch in every direction and its not going to get better until we address the job situation. We need some real answers

  • Ibn Insha

    If they can go on strike instead of working that means they have money too much money that allows them to stay off work. That means they are well paid. Under current economic conditions they must sacrifice a little when majority of individuals and companies suffering. If they don’t like what is offered to them they should look for a better job. They don’t have a right to their current job. These people are just lazy and want to continue to receive goodies no matter what. Just because thousands of them agree on one thing does not make their cause legitimate. They are just black mailing the company by striking.

    • Pul

      I think you’re out of your mind. Are you suggesting that making enough money to save over the course of three years so that you have a little cushion for a rainy day means you make too much money? Are you telling me that a person who makes the right amount of money is one who has to take whatever piddling amount a boss will give him for fear of starvation? Doesn’t that automatically mean all Verizon’s executives are overpaid, since they can afford to go years without pay if thy have to do it for some reason? Isn’t the company blackmailing the union by making all these concessionary demands because they feel they can stay in business longer than the union can afford to strike? If they weren’t blackmailing the union in this fashion they would be bargaining in good faith trying to come to a reasonable agreement. They are not. They laid out their concessionary demands in July and have not compromised one millimeter since. In fact, this article accepts the Verizon spokesperson,s word completely when he says the union walked away from the bargaining table when the opposite is true. Verizon is the one that walked away because the union did not completely capitulate to their demands.

      • LG

        And the plot thickens…

        A big problem with those members of the general ignorant public who would bash unions without much knowledge of just what exactly goes on in these situations is that they do not understand what negotiation means. When two parties negotiate, they are working towards an agreement that suits BOTH of them. These negotiations are not one-sided as the haters would like to think.

        I’m tired of the rhetoric posed by those who don’t believe in or support unions–they use whatever tactics they feel are necessary to spread lies about unions. Sounds like a whole lot of “talking points” to me since the ignorant are all saying the same nonsense over and over.

        I am tired of union bashing, but I’m never going to stop telling it like it is to those who have the wrong idea about negotiations. Each situation is unique unto itself, but the bottom line is job actions happen AFTER many, many other attempts at bargaining have been tried. If it is found that a party did not come to the table in good faith, the negotiations take a different turn. When you walk away, you are forcing the next step in the process. Most of us only know what we know from this article, but how many people posting here have actually been part of a negotiations process? I’d be willing to bet that it would be a very small percentage. Oh, but by all means, keep talking.

    • jm

      We are striking to get the company to negotiate fairly.No one in the company wanted to strike, and they have been in talks since June. It is Verizon that is looking to take for their bottom line. If they would negotiate, maybe they would find the union willing to work with them, not against them

      • Reverend Rev

        The fact that you’re striking means that you DID want to strike. The rest of us are making less and paying for our own health care, so welcome to OUR world.

      • UNION SCAB


    • Odog

      The “current economic conditions”you talking about are caused by the very corporations. Take Exxon Mobil for example. They are making more profit than anyone in the history of the world. What need is there for them to charge $4 a gallon? Its not a supply and demand issue, its a greed issue. What cost you $1.50 just 10 years ago cost $4 a now? Demand has went up 2 and half times in 10 years? When cars are more efficient now? I bet filling up ypur gas tank now causes u direct hardship than it did 10 years ago. For what, just because they can? Cmon corporations do not follow the economic law of supply and demand. And u say dont fight it?? R u serious?

    • Kingfisher

      Yea under current conditions they must sacrifice a little, Just like upper manangement and CEO’S are suffering.

    • Jenine Thompson

      The union did build the company, and judging from your english linguistics and writing skills I see why your unable to appreciate unions, you where never able to pass a test to join 1. Hater

  • Mike

    There is a difference when its a private company vs govt workers. A private company is in business to make money and should share the profits with all of its workforce not just top executives who rake in millions of dollars. In this case I support the union workers. However when it comes to govt workers who are usually get much better benefits than those in the private sector and not to mention the govt is essentially supported by all taxpayers, govt worker need to take cuts in their benefits. I dont get a pension and I’m tired of paying high taxes all the time.

    • whereisyourhead?

      you think teachers are in it for the money?

      • LG

        P.S. In my state, and in neighboring states, it takes 3 years and one day to earn tenure. This is after many, many, many observations and the use of other evaluative instruments. Tenure does not mean a job for life—it means that a person cannot be fired without due process. The ignorance of the public astounds me more and more every day.

      • LG

        You, sir, are a victim of propaganda. The teachers unions (whichever one it is to which you refer) do not make examples of anything that involves lowering productivity. Teachers ARE held “accountable” for their job performance—in the profession, it’s called the evaluation process. Have you ever heard about it? And accountability is for the business model where you have more control over your assets and you play roulette with the whims of the consumer.

        In education, we are dealing with people and the disposition of their working and ever-changing minds. Therefore we have what is called the “responsibility” model. Students are responsible for doing their work and teachers are responsible for facilitating learning in the classroom to the best of their abilities. I do not believe that a teacher’s salary should be tied to the willingness or the attitude of a student hell-bent on not learning a blessed thing, but since you seem to know all about education, you think so.

        So now I ask you…what exactly is your evaluative process—you know, the one that differentiates the good teachers from the bad?

      • Mike

        I know some teachers choose their profession because they love to teach. However the teachers union is another example of where it’s more interested in protecting its members than improving productivity. Their stance against teachers being held accountable for job performance only hurts students because bad teachers are prevented from being fired. Name another profession where you can just teach 2 years and then get tenure for life. People work 30 – 40 years in their careers and their performance can change over time. I believe good teachers should receive higher pay but bad teachers should be fired or given retraining.

  • Paul

    Interesting. CBS is quick to mention a transgression by two union members who foolishly hurt themselves, but makes no mention of scabs who ran over legal picketers in New York and New Jersey today. Why is that? Could there be a corporate bias from the bigwigs at Viacom , which owns CBS preventing them from giving up to date, newsworthy reports when a story involves the working class?

    • John Americanworker

      Don’t blow smoke up everyone’s ass Paul. Those “legal” picketers deliberately stepped in front of the person’s car. You can see it over and over on YouTube videos including one where a guy puts his young daughter in front of a company truck to stop it from leaving.

  • Odog

    The more people that have good careers is better for the economy as a whole anyway. Higher wages=more spending, which causes demand to rise and companies can hire more people to meet demand. If everyone make $10-$15 an hr, how many cars can people buy? How many people would buy houses? Who could afford to give their kids a quality education? Hardly no one. More taxes are collected instead of spending on unemployment and welfare programs. Its good for the country when people have REAL $ in their pocket. Could u imagine a country full of $10 an hr workers?

  • da_veritas

    Verizon’s excuse to demand that the union giveback everything they’ve ever gotten is that the wireline side of the business is shrinking.Well it’s true that people are giving up their old copper land line but who do you think takes care of the wireless network? Your cell phone call does not go up into space and come back down straight to the cell phone of the called party.It goes into a central office where union people maintain the backbone of that wireless network.Union people also work on FIOS (which is where alot of the lost landlines went to,by the way) and if you say that FIOS is a money loser then I guess that former CEO Ivan Seidenberg should reimburse the company about 80 million dollars of bonus money back. Please get the truth out to the masses!!

  • Odog

    I dont understand the “be happy you have a job” comment. Thats just being a hater. The reason there’s 9% unemployment is because of the corporations dont care about the little people. So, instead of this country turning against those that CAUSED the unemployment in the 1st place, you hate on the very few in this country that still willing to fight for worker’s rights. You mean to tell me when we all working Mcdonald’s jobs then you will be happy because then you can point to everyone else and say “Well, at least we all in the same boat”? Wow, Wall Street has really did a Jedi Mind trick on America. Classic case of “Misery Loves Company”

    • Ibn Insha

      Who said corporations have a responsibility to take care of anybody. This is a free country. If you don’t want you do not have to work or buy the products of a company. They cannot impose themselves on you and you should not impose yourself on them.

  • Roody

    The union is not demanding more than what they have now. They want to keep all the benifits which they fought so hard to get it. Be fair. The main reason for the strike this time is that the company is refusing to sit down and negotiate. Dc I am very proud of you because standing up against unfair comments. The union workers should not give up anything specialy when Verizon making profit. all unemployed dont sell yourself short. you never know. You might be a union worker someday. God Bless the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Go CWA’

    • Wig Wam Willie

      Out here in the REAL world, we pay for our health care. There’s NO REASON why Verizon employees can’t do the same.

      • LG

        What “real world?” How in the world can you compare anyone’s working conditions to everyone’s? That is a lame excuse for…I don’t want you to fight for anything you want in your own job because there are to many of you asking for it. You just come off sounding like a jealous brat with that “real world” BS.

    • Read HIS Word

      Hate to tell you this, but GOD is not blessing this world, especially the USA, where everybody’s greed, the corporations and the corrupt unions do not honor the LORD Jesus Christ. Open up a bible, if you have one, and read it very carefully, using a concordance, and you will find out that Jesus is hated, as are HIS disciples. Jesus said: My kingdom is not of this world.

  • Susan Beuerlein

    I am Military…while we all deserve fair contracts sometimes they are broken. Sometimes our pay is cut, our pensions are cut, we don’t get cost of living allowances that keep us competitive with the rest of the workers…yet, you still get paid overtime, we don’t. You get to come home each night. We don’t. You work 5 day work weeks, we don’t…we work 24/7 and despite the most obstinate customer, they don’t shoot at you every single day. They don’t wait for your airplane to pass by, and shoot it down. We take our jobs and do them so that you can have the freedom to complain about your salaries…we can’t.

    • joey from b'hurst

      We, the working class, pay your salary.

    • Paul

      That’s all very good Susan, but many of us are ex-military who did your job before you did and before we took this one. Furthermore we have a lot of members who are in the reserves and have been activated to go to Iraq and Afghanistan while we were on this job already. Please don’t try to make it sound like we’re unpatriotic or we don’t deserve the fruits of our labor. I wonder what the military experience of Verizon’s executives and board members is, don’t you?

    • Ian

      Nobody forced you to join the military. These are working class families whose jobs are being shipped overseas. You might be shipped over seas but not your job and you knew that going into the military in the first place.

      • Ibn Insha

        Jobs at those companies are not somebody’s right. Work for a company that does not take jobs overseas. The reality has changed. We had good life for a very long time. We face global economy now. If we make law to keep jobs in America we will by able to supply only to ourselves only. Our products will be too expensive for the people of other countries to afford. Once we are unable to sell our products to foreigners we will make less money. Our standard of living will decrease. And when we will have less money to spend it will effect businesses who will lay people off. Therefore, before you blame somebody or offer a solution consider its repercussions.

    • Vanessa

      I was in the military and I didn’t work 24/7 thats a LIE. We get unlimited sick days, 30 days vacation, money for school, FREE health insurance and so many more perks like housing allowance. PLEASE the military is governement welfare and the only time I was on duty 24/7 was in the field !!!!!! or during deployment. CIvilians have the right to fight for benefits and if you want that right get your ass out the military!

      • Winter

        I was looking evrheywere and this popped up like nothing!

  • da_veritas

    Verizon paid no taxes last year (good trick, can you teach the rest of us how to do it?)

    Verizon took a billion and a half dollars in bailout money from the Govt (which is really you and me,by the way)a short time after Ivan S. publicly said that Verizon didn’t need any bailout money!

    Verizon makes a ton of money and before you give me the talking point of “but the POTS side of the business loses money” — I’m a COT and I work on FIOS, DSL on copper, and wireless traffic ckts every day!

    The top few execs were paid over 60 Million last year. I don’t see them volunteering for any kind of cuts for themselves.

    The company has gotten rid of a ton of workers over the past few years.First the craft hired after 2003 was laid off and then alot of people took that retirement package last year. This is leaving the public with the bare minimum of service.I wish the union would go public with just how bad it is and embarrass the company.You would not believe the geographic area I am expected to cover.I would need the Star Trek transporter to do an effective job.Now the company is going to jump on the current anti union sentiment and try to take back everything the union ever negotiated for.

  • Mim

    Thank you so much for this statement. People throughout history have fought, struggled and yes, died for the right to earn a living wage and health benefits in this country. Why is it that it’s ok for an executive in Verizon to get a 10 million dollar bonus but for a worker to earn 55 thousand in salary is wrong? in 2010 Ivan Seidenberg ranked 11th on the Forbes highest paid CEO list. Verizon is a billion dollar, with a B company. They have already shipped thousands of American jobs to other countries, where it’s legal to mistreat the workers.

    More people should study the history of the labor in this country. It was no fairytale. No one should “just be happy” to have a job. It’s not ingratitude to expect a salary that covers your rent and electricity. It’s not whining to want benefits that cover your children when they get sick. Fighting for fairness is very, very American.

  • Rose

    We need to remember that it’s us (workers) against them (management). We need to support the unions whether or not we ourselves are in the union or not. Once they break the Union they will go after after the people in the private sector and there will definitely be no rights at all!!! Management will never give a DAMN about the workers and that is mainly about 99% of us. So we should support Verizon and all the other unions that go on strike.

    • JM

      The strike was called because as a profitable corporation, Verizon does not want to bargain with its legally recognized unions. When Verizon decides to talk, the unions are waiting for them.

  • BC

    What is Verizon threatening to take away from a typical union employee?

    I recall a Verizon telephone technician with about 10 years of experience making well over $100,000 per year. The buyout offers for some of these employees was just ridiculous when they were doing layoffs. If this is the case, I think the employees need to face reality. You’re not entitled to a good wage ($100k+) just by being an American. You need to earn it.

    • Paul

      No telephone technician in Verizon makes $100,00 as a base salary. If someone makes that he is dedicating massive amounts of overtime hours to Verizon at the exspense of his family. He must spend lots of his time over and above the regular forty hour work week doing productive work for Verizon. In other words, BC, he did EARN it.

      • BC

        If that’s the case, what’s the base salary for someone with about 10 years of experience? I’m willing to bet that it’s at least close to about $80k. Add in the overtime and you’re well above $100k+.

        At the expense of his family? We all make sacrifices. Just because someone works over 40 hours a week doesn’t mean he earned a salary over $100k.

    • pm

      i think bc is on crack…10 years, 20, years 50 years doesnt matter. ur base is still the same. no verizon tech makes 100k as a base. u can work 40 hours and not kill yourself for at least 10 of those hours. to make 100k or more u have to log some serious hours. u cant breeze through your day sitting on your butt to get that kind of must stay at work on the job for some really long you are sacrificing your time with family in this process. also with gps on the trucks and managers riding around and also the general public with facebook twitter and youtube….we are rarely sitting around becauce best believe someone is always watching..get a clue dork.

  • jerseyjoey

    Verizon could care less about POTTS and its labor force, matter of fact instead of a strike you should be happy you got a job, next you will get your layoff notices ,now you can join the rest of us in a third world economy.

  • barb

    i am from the past a retiree that went on strike against Verizon to maintain a job and to pave the way for you young people to keep and protect what i worked for to pass it on to you.i am sickened by your anti union mentality this is why American jobs are being shipped overseas to pay wages next to nothing cause this is what you are willing to accept. so when more and more jobs ship over sea’s for little wages and you have nothing but yourself to blame. this is why i support the unions they are fighting for the retired workers and active employees.i depend on my healthcare benefits as a senior who no longer has the physical ability to work anymore or even find a job at my age.

  • LazyUnionParasites

    The union parasites killing another business…Fire them all.. Let them start their own company….


      lazy stupid much are your masters at verizon paying you..30 pieces of silver i thats you period.

  • The Cryptojournalist

    Regrettably, the pitiful level of telephone customer service are intact.

    Also, the notion that ‘union employees contribute nothing’ to health care WHOLLY overlooks the fact they’ve got their own health care program…..



    • Bill

      Verizon is not responsible for the taxes you pay.


      Its cause were regulated boy wonder and cable companys arent

  • lola

    How do you pronounce Verizon in Chinese? Bye? Gone? layoffs?

    • Jenine Thompson

      How do you pronounce Lola in Chinese, O I know asinine

  • jimmac

    verizon land line has a big money maker with fios,the company has never lost money,they made billions in profit last year,as a union employee i could understand if they were losing monry but they are not.look at the bonuses and the pay the ceo and his top people get. we are just trying to keep what we got to raise a family

    • James

      jimmac – Have you not noted that the FIOS build outs have stopped almost entirely? They’re bascially just doing installs now. Verizon knows that cable-free TV is going to be here shortly. Don’t need any poles or wires or fiber optic lines for that.

      I don’t believe this is a union busting move on the part of Verizon. I’m firmly convinced it’s an employee purging move. They don’t need most of these employees and this strike is going to do nothing but highlight this reality. Employees need to understand that the company is quite content to go the long haul and that many of them will never be returning to their old jobs. This was just not a wise move at this time.

    • lola

      Why don’t you just quit and bring your talents to another firm that will pay you more?
      I can guarantee the people you are complaining about who make the bonuses did just that more than a few times. Maybe, some of them worked 80 hours a week to get where they are. They didn’t even need a union to get the big bucks. Go figure.

    • mikeyu

      Sorry, but I do not feel sorry for you at all. Now, if you had no job I might, but not when you are working and receiving a good wage. As I said before, I will be happy to bring some of the million members of the Unemployed Workers Union to your strike. This union will be more than happy to go to work for Verizon.

      • Rita

        The UNION members on strike at verizon are not asking for frivolous demands. The company is trying to take away many things that THEY agreed in the past was fair to all parties. They are not a company in the red, they are extremely profitable and yes THAT IS IN GREAT PART DUE TO THE WORKERS WHO ARE ASKING NOT FOR MORE THAN BUT JUST OUR FAIR SHARE. The ceo and coo of today didn’t create anything either..they paid a worker (probably union- Lucent, Vodaphone, etc) to formulate ideas and then union workers implemented them.

      • rocco

        maybe you idiots should thank us workers for your unemployment checks.

      • Gimme, It's Mine

        Thank you mikeyu, you are so right. Let these ingrates go on unemployment and see how that feels, while people with no jobs take their place. These strikers have no idea what it’s like out there. I have been unemployed for almost a year and now am going back to school to change direction, as there are no jobs in my previous industry out there. And for you ungrateful to have a job strikers, companies do not exist for the workers benefit. They start out with a product and exist to market that product, and employ people to help do that. These people are paid wages and these wages are all they are DUE. If the company wishes to compensate extra in the way of bonuses and benefits, they should do so at their discretion, not at the point of a gun by people with the attitude of “we built this company”. No, you didn’t build the company, you just work for the company. Since you “built” this company, then if you are not happy, then go out and “build” your own company. Yeah, right!!! That’s unlikely.

  • Steve

    This country has 9% unemployment. Be glad you have A JOB. How many people have had their hours cut, salaries frozen or reduced???? and the Unions want …… a “living” wage?? I could live on it just fine I’m sure..

    • liz


  • mikeyu

    I know of millions of people in a new union. It is called the “Unemployed Workers Union.” They will be happy to cross the picket line.

    • joey from b'hurst

      Will they be happy with their legs broken, and wheeling themselves around in a shopping cart, when they cross the picket line.

      • Gimme, It's Mine

        There we go people. This is the union mentality. Violence, violence, and more violence. Violence in their words, violence in their actions. They destroy property and they hurt people. The union leadership and the rank and file are nothing but a bunch of THUGS. And Joey, here is something you should understand:
        andare all’inferno

  • jhr

    Unions had and have a purpose but when it becomes outrageous that is when unions hurt everyone but their members. I am all for workers being paid a just wage whne it comes to benefits especially medical I would like to see every union step up and support the new helathcare law or are they as self-serving as Congress. The avarage ameican pays substantially more for medical coverage while working and in retireiment when campared to Congress and union workers. That is unfair and where unions over step there bounds. fair wages just working conditions and equal benefits for all.

  • James

    This is a stupid time to strike. These are LANDLINE workers. Meaning the company, for the most part, is going to function just fine without them and probably doesn’t even need half of them. Don’t know what the unions are thinking, but it’s the employees who are going to suffer big time here. This will be very long strike, and many will end up never returning to their jobs.

    • sarah jane

      i agree with you and i work for verizon.

  • DC

    In 1982 CEO’s made 42 times the pay of the average worker…In 2009 that ratio went to 263 times after going up as high as 431 times in 2004!!…Any questions?

    • Gimme, It's Mine

      Yes, my question is, whose company is it? Did the “average worker” start this company? Do they make the business decisions, or take the risks for these decisions? Stop this communist ranting. This is supposed to be America, land of the free, a capitalist country. If a worker does not like it where they work, then they are free to move on and go to work someplace else. Oh, I forgot, the socialists in this country have made it impossible to do that anymore. Welcome to your collectivist paradise comrade!

      • Jack

        Gimme, It’s Mine, why are you unemployed again?

      • LG

        What an idiot. Remember that the company is nothing without its workforce. Did the CEO do all the work himself? No. Welcome to reality, Citizen Paranoid.

  • ihk888

    good going!!! unions destroyed companies such as GM and other American icons and now keep on demanding more benefits and wages, then we will have no jobs in the US. we blame on China for taking all jobs away from us yet nobody wants to pay $200 for sneakers, $50 for socks etc when the companies couldn’t afford union-backed workers to manufacture anything. just coming off from bankruptcy, now UAW is talking about negotiation. it is nice gesture.

    • DC

      Verizon unions are not demanding more

    • ejones

      Why to people support corporations, republicans and conservatives in this “race to the bottom” tactic of taking away wages, benefits, working conditions from each group of American workers because “they” don’t have them?
      So now you propose we become Red China, where people work for poverty wages and have no workplace rights.
      The American middle-class was built by unions, by those who refused to roll over and let corporations continue to exploit the workers and hoard all the wealth at the top, in the hands of a few all-powerful oligarchs.
      But republicans want to return to the robber-baron days, want to keep American workers desperate, uneducated and servile.
      It’s time for the American worker to rise up again, demand that we return to a tariff-based trade policy, and rebuild the American manufacturing base.

      • Gimme, It's Mine

        What rights are you talking about. The only thing companies owe to their workers are the wages for their output. That’s it, nothing else. The only thing the government should be doing is to make sure workers aren’t being abused. That’s it!

      • Jack

        Gimmie, thats why you are unemployed right now. Incompetent troll

      • joey from b'hurst

        CWA/IBEW have a right to strike. The company can also has a right to hire scabs. The unions are not holding these corporations hostage. The corporations want the skilled union workers back; not some jack-ass that will burn your house down.

      • ace

        Verizon offers tuition assistance. Perhaps you should return to school.

      • mjc

        yea one of the concessions the company wants…no more tuition assistance…research before you make statements!!!!!!!!!

  • Smail Buzzby

    It is amazing to me how everyone is on one side or the other of almost every argument anymore. Let me try to explain this in a way that you third graders might be able comprehend.
    Unions exist because corporate greed has repeatedly run rampant and ruined working in America. When we trust the market we get abused and taken advantage of so much that we form unions to try to fight the companies.
    After a few decades of unions the union officials make great money and have inflated wages for their members and now the union has become greedy. The workers are overpaid and often much more safe in their jobs than they should be (hard to fire).
    Neither situation is desirable. Letting companies take advantage of everyone is bad. Letting unions ruin productivity is bad.
    I think that America is destined to go down the tubes – all we know how to do anymore is line up on this side or that side…we have forgotten that the middle is where most people live and where things get done.

    • Elena

      Thank you! Someone talking with their brain instead of emotions. People like to blame someone else for their problems instead of trying to find the source and scream things out without actual knowledge of the subject. Why don’t they teach economics and political science in high school or, better yet, middle school?



    • RS

      Thank you for adding some common sense to this . Being strictly pro union or non union seems to to be the norm in this country but this fails to take into account that both sides have been greedy in the past and continue to do so . As an example I offer these two very real senarios. The first is something I witnessed first hand recently when I went to shop at a local Pathmark store in NJ. The United Food and Commercial workers union local 1262 was striking out in the parking lot. The union boss was sitting in his brand new Cadillac barking out orders to striking workers like they were cattle while the rain poured down on them. Pathmark was on the verge of closing all its area stores but the union was striking and trying to keep potential customers away. For what purpose? On the side of corporate greed we have seen record salary increases for top company executives while permanent full time workers have been layed off only to be rehired as temps with no benefits and decreased salaries. This has become a common “cost cutting measure” in the financial areas in particular. We as Americans need to weed out both corporate and union greed . I propose looking at each labor dispute as a separate entity. I do not know all the detail about this particular dispute but the bottom line is both sides need to compromise for the good of the workers and the company. Most American workers have made labor concessions in the way of benefits , wages or an increased workload in the past few years so the statement that the union ” wants nothing more” still means they want something . The verizon company may be profitable right now buy what the environment in the next few years. But Verizon could make some concessions to secure a skilled workforce which would make them effiicient in the next few years as competition increases and technology changes rapidly.. Both sides need to go back to the table….

  • lucy

    Dissolve all corporations

  • Kierra

    Verizon has grown too large and too greedy. First off: drop the fee for unpublished and unlisted directory services on your telephone connection. You are only throwing good money after bad. Anyone can, with a little computer savvy can, find your telephone number via the Internet.

    Secondly, you are not the customer. Verizon refers to you as the customer to stroke your ego. Actually, the shareholder is the customer. They’re are the ones Verizon is actually stroking with increased dividends.

    Speaking about shareholders, notice how fast congress stopped pursuing going after off-shore and Swiss bank accounts just before the debt ceiling situation arose. I wonder why?

  • Sherry Gurley

    Just another attack moon the middle class workers and unions. When you see their profits in the millions or billions, and they say that they don’t have the money, is what my parents called “HOG WASH”

  • DJ

    Yea Ma Bell… I reckon the American workers at Verizon should be brought into the real world… I’ll take a dose of the real world that the CEOs get for starters! Don’t be ridiculous… the middle class is getting strangled and finally a union is standing up. Good for them.

  • DC

    Verizon is not bargaining in good faith. They want across the board cuts and haven’t budged since talks began over 6 weeks ago. All the union wants is for Verigreedy Corp. to come to the table with an offer that doesn’t insult it’s employees and wipe out over 50 years of progress. And the union will return to work during these negotiations

  • Joe Knowsall

    The company actually do have the money to pay our pension, to give us a pension, to give us a fair and decent raise, to also pay for our medical. We, as workers, we want our bread and roses too,” said Anita Long,
    Sounds like a very educated women? I think she already makes more money then she deserves because of the union

    • Union Supporter

      I don’t know Anita Long, but she does not represent the Union workers. We are NOT looking for “roses.” We are trying to hang on to what we have now. The Anita Longs of this country are what unfairly gives Unions a bad name.

    • Anita bath Long

      Yes she is one dumb broad Anita ‘RAISE’ Long.And what bread and roses is she talking about.She is lucky to have a jobeveryone i know does not have a lanline anymore and fios sucks. Times are changing and verizon is all about the wireless.

  • Carlos Liriano

    break the union and problems solve

    • DC

      What problems?

  • paul klingbeil

    Just another attack on the middle class by a big profitable corppration.

  • Ma Bell

    “The company said union employees contribute nothing to their health care premiums.”

    But we, the customers, pay for our own health care, and it seems we’re paying for theirs as well. Maybe they should be brought into the real world.

    • Jack

      And what is the “real world” ma bell. Who defines the “real world”? The big corporations do/ You’ve been had

      • nate

        Jack you are right.. my rent just went up, but i still make the say pay check.everythings getting more expensive..but i still make the same paycheck.

1 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live