Verizon Workers against Mediation Attempt
Wednesday, June, 29, 2016
Striking Verizon workers are concerned the intervention from the president’s administration into their contract talks, as well as the blackout being imposed by the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers could hurt their cause. Workers want to defeat attempts to repeat the 2011 sellout. That strike ended with a new contract and concessions that were reportedly imposed by a federal mediator.
Workers picketing in Queens, New York told reporters they do not like mediation and don’t want to be forced to use it again, as they were in 2011. They believe they were sold out and were forced to pay for medical insurance. Their unlimited sick day policy was reduced to 10 days, some jobs were outsourced, and many people were relocated following the mediation. Local workers are concerned they might be sent to Long Island and will be unable to reach their job location because they currently use public transportation.
Some workers believe the relocation is an attempt to cut staff without doing so directly.
Workers also complained about the 7% increase in wages since the first mediation. They believe the company is trying to take away healthcare and make up for it with raises. Others complain the union is making moves that affect them, but they have no idea what is going on.
Others focused on their employer, concerned there is too much corporate greed and that employees are not seen as humans. One even speculated the Verizon CEO might be soulless since he wants employees to travel 70 or 80 miles to reach their workplace.