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A Update on CWA and the Verizon Strike…

Last year 45, 000 the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Communication Workers of America (CWA) went on strike against Verizon.  Verizon failed to bargain in ‘good faith’ and demanded concessions from the workers.  Verizon pushed to have the employees pay more for healthcare because Verizon needed to protect their 10 Billion in profits and over 300 Million dollars to their executives.

This resulted in a two-week strike from CWA and IBEW workers along the Eastern Seaboard. Over 45,000 workers walked out however not all of them walked back in.

In typical ‘Ronald Reagan Anti-Worker’ fashion, Verizon ended up firing a number of employees. All of these people who were fired are still fighting to get their jobs back.  Some were fired for actions durning the protests.  This was the case of Jen Travis.  She worked at a call center near Pittsburg, PA and was accused of assaulting a manager who was crossing the picket line.

Listen to Jen tell her story.

Jen is not the only person who story needs to be heard, and having a voice in the workplace is the reason we all joined a union in the first place.  CWA has started a new website solely to give these workers who, went out on strike and lost their jobs after, a voice.  The site is called Stand Up To Verizon. Along with up to date information about the contract talks and other issues that CWA and Verizon are dealing with you can see a list of people telling their story. Be sure to click on Fired and Suspended Workers Standing Up To Verizon.  Jen is only the first of the four highlighted on the site.

John Inzanian, a 22-year employee, was suspended after he was run over by a manager’s car during last year’s strike. Leighton McGeachy, who came from a Verizon family and spent 12 years on the job, faced false accusations of reckless driving before he was summarily dismissed.

On August 11, the IBEW and CWA hosted the Stand Up To Verizon rally in Philadelphia. At the rally they read off the names of all the workers who were unjustly fired as a result of the strike.   (See video below.)  We need to work to get these people back to work after being unjustly fired.

Here is an update from IBEW on the current negotiations.

Regional Bargaining Report
Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bargaining continues in Washington DC at the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service (FMCS). IBEW, CWA and Verizon have agreed to Guidelines which includes that no information can be released by either party concerning the progress of these negotiations.

Last week, IBEW New England and CWA District 1 as well as CWA District 2-13 and IBEW Local 827 met with the company in sessions that went late into the night, every night for the entire week. Friday’s session ended on Saturday morning at 2 AM. Bargaining recessed so that the company could take the time to additional information that the Union requested. Bargaining is scheduled to reconvene on Monday morning at 9 AM.

Because of the agreed upon blackout, there is no news of progress or non-progress to report.

Our members must continue to mobilize and we MUST let management know that we want a fair contract.




About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News
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