Originally published: August 16, 2011
Last updated: August 16, 2011 - 2:45pm
Verizon Communications has called in hundreds of additional management and non-union employees to handle customer service and network operations duties, as the strike by 45,000 workers wore into its tenth day. The union-represented Verizon employees in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have been on strike since Aug. 7. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) represents about 33,000 Verizon workers, while the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents some 12,000. "We've called up hundreds of additional employees in the last few days," Verizon spokesman Rich Young said. "Our plan is to do what we have to do to keep our networks running. By and large, 10 days into the strike, our networks are performing solidly." Previously Verizon had said it trained 40,000 management employees, retirees and contractors to fill in for the strikers.
The CWA said that more than 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam to "get serious about bargaining." "We will never have an economic recovery if profitable companies like Verizon can demand huge concessions from workers," CWA communications director Candice Johnson said. "You don't build a middle class by cutting workers' wages, benefits and standard of living. That's just one reason why Verizon is becoming synonymous with 'VeryGreedy.'" According to Chaison, Verizon lacks credibility "by demanding concessions simply because it would like them despite being profitable, and their no guarantees that the striking workers will be able to keep their jobs even if they agree to cost-cutting concessions."