Bernie Sanders Joins Striking Verizon Workers In Manhattan
Earlier this week Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont joined employees of the telecom giant in their Manhattan picket line.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) began bargaining a new contract in June for 38,000 telecom workers in the Northeast from Maine to Virginia. (Full disclosure: The author works for Verizon and is a member of CWA.)
The company raked in $9.6 billion in profits last year, and paid its top five executives $44 million. Yet it opened bargaining
with a laundry list of giveback demands.
It wants to eliminate job security language (which permits layoffs only in very specific circumstances), downsize retirement plans, allow more outsourcing, raise members’ health care contributions, increase how long and how far workers can be transferred, and take away the unions’ right to negotiate retiree health care.
“You’ve got corporate America making huge profits. Their CEO’s get huge compensation packages and then with all of their money, what they do is they hire lawyers in order to make it harder for workers to survive in this country - What these companies do is use their power to cut wages, to cut healthcare benefits, to cut pensions.” Said Sanders
Bernie is more then just good rhetoric about supporting workers and unionization, earlier this month, Sanders introduced a senate bill that would make it easier for workers to organize a union in the workplace.
Labor and economic inequality is at the forefront of the Sanders' campaign. and he is walking the walk not just talking the talk.
“The middle class in this country is disappearing, and what Verizon is doing to their workers is exactly what has got to be fought if we’re going to rebuild the American middle class.” Said Sanders