45,000 Striking Verizon Workers: Can You Hear Us Now?
Image Credit: Flickr Scarygami
Bargaining began on June 22nd, and according to the Communications Workers of America union, "Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands... As a result, CWA and IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) have decided to take the unprecedented step of striking until Verizon stops its Wisconsin-style tactics and starts bargaining seriously."
For you sports fans, that sounds a lot like the verbiage being used by David Stern and NBA owners towards its players, and underscores that the two sides may be further apart than most realize. In a note on its website, Verizon explains it's "asking our union-represented employees to help us on a variety of issues that could streamline our processes and further reduce our Wireline cost structure while keeping their overall compensation and benefits among the best in corporate America." Verizon claims that some of the original contract's provisions were hammered out when the telco "was under far less competitive pressure" and "are not in line with the economic realities of business today."
The striking workers aren't buying it, pointing out that Verizon's reported revenues for 2011 came to $108 billion, including $6 billion in net profits. Furthermore, striking workers take exception to Verizon's top five executives being compensated to the tune for $258 million over the past four years.
On the other side of the coin, Verizon's wireline business declined 0.3 percent (revenue) in the second quarter, and dropped 2.2 percent in the Q1 2011.