Buffalo, NY — On Black Friday, the Coalition for Economic Justice joined with CWA 1122 and the more than 39,000 CWA and IBEW members who build and maintain Verizon phone lines and internet service from Virginia to Massachusetts, who have been working without a contract since August. Verizon makes almost $1.5 billion in profits each month, yet is trying to eliminate job security, make workers pay thousands of dollars more for health coverage, gut retirement security and even eliminate benefits for workers injured on the job. These demands would allow the company to contract out and outsource even more work, threatening thousands of good jobs.
At the same time, workers at six Verizon Wireless retail stores in Brooklyn, NY and Everett, MA overcame years of ruthless union-busting to become the first Verizon Wireless stores to unionize. But instead of settling fair contracts, Verizon Wireless refuses to offer these brave wireless retail workers ANY raises, improved benefits or improved working conditions and recently ratcheted up its union-busting campaign by illegally firing a worker leader in Brooklyn. That ain’t right.
“In recent weeks, Verizon has become increasingly aggressive at the bargaining table, signaling its intention to impost its terms and conditions of employment, which would lead to a massive strike,” said John Mudie, President of the Central Labor Council. “CWA and IBEW members are fighting back both on and off the job, and it’s time for allies across the country to help ramp up pressure on Verizon to settle fair and just contracts at Verizon and Verizon Wireless. On Black Friday, Verizon Wireless will be luring in customers with big deals, providing a perfect opportunity to bring some heat.”
“The Coalition for Economic Justice and its allies from labor, faith and community-based organizations stand with working class people, both union and non-union, in their fight for fair and just contracts, dignity and respect and better working conditions. Verizon Wireless makes over $1 billion a month in profits, there’s no reason any worker should have their retirement benefits cut or have to pay higher health insurance costs,” said Reverend Kirk Laubenstein, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice. “It’s obvious that this is an attack on good paying, middle class jobs, and we won’t stand idle as it takes place. We are, and will continue to — fight back.”
The Coalition for Economic Justice unites our labor, faith, community organizations and activists with allies and resources to win campaigns that promote economic justice for all through building strong, diverse, and sustainable communities.