CWA Emergency Coalition Support Meeting
Where: SEIU 32BJ, 25 W. 18th St., 5th Floor, NYC
Eleven months after CWA’s two-week strike against Verizon in August, 2011, negotiations over a new contract for 45,000 CWA and IBEW members from Massachusetts to Virginia have reached a critical stage.
Despite months of bargaining and significant movement by the unions, management continues to insist on gutting retirement and job security, major concessions in health care, and refuses to bring back thousands of outsourced and off-shored jobs.
On July 19th, CWA and IBEW requested the intervention of a federal mediator, and we are hopeful that a mediator may be able to make some progress.
But at this point, it appears that this enormously profitable company—which made nearly $22 billion in profits over the last five years and paid its top five executives nearly $350 million during that time—is determined to implement unilaterally a concessionary contract that will slash the living standards of CWA and IBEW members.
The possibility of a lengthy and difficult strike is looming.
At the same time, Verizon is seeking Department of Justice (DoJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval for a deal that will allow them to stop competing with the big cable companies like Comcast and Time-Warner, and allow these telecommunications giants to market their products jointly. So instead of the competition envisioned by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the biggest and most powerful telecom companies will be forming an effective monopoly over Internet, Video and Phone service in much of the country.
This deal would mean an end to the FiOS build out, leaving upstate cities and rural areas without access to the most advanced high-speed networks, and eliminating consumer choice. In addition, Verizon is openly abandoning its copper network and focusing its strategy on high-end customers only.
In short, Verizon’s strategic plan for New York is devastating to both workers and consumers.
The Verizon 1% must be stopped but CWA and IBEW cannot do it alone. You were all there in solidarity with the Verizon strikers last August. Now it looks like we have to gear up for Round 2.
Please join us next Friday for a briefing on the state of negotiations and our efforts to defeat the Verizon 1%. Thank you.
President, NYC Central Labor Council
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