“Verizon is just endemic of what’s going on in the nation. It’s a corporate race to the bottom. It’s a total disregard for the working man and woman, total disregard for the middle class and the working class. And it’s our turn. It’s our turn to fight back, it’s our time. And we’re going to win this fight.” Said Striking CWA New York City worker Victor Fuentes.
Thirty-nine thousand Verizon workers went on strike at 6 a.m., Wednesday, after trying to bargain a fair labor contract for 10 months. Verizon is making about $1.8 billion a month profit and is still pushing for concessions and to ship more good jobs overseas.
Irene Abraham is a single mother with two kids in college and 11-year-old at home. She’s worked for Verizon for 26 years.
“It’s not fair that a corporation where the executives make 200 times my salary. That is not fair for a corporation that has record earnings even when the economy is struggling, for them to say that they cannot afford to maintain the benefits and the salary that I have right now.”
Fuentes says striking Verizon workers are determined to face whatever it takes to see this strike through to victory, despite the uncertainty of being without paychecks.
“The uncertainty of not having a paycheck coming in—at the end of the month our benefits are cut off. For all of us it’s a very serious time. It’s very frightening. And yet we know what’s in front of us. We know that this is a battle where we’re looking at the long-term, not the short-term goal. And so we are going to be out here each and every day fighting against Verizon to try to maintain our way of life, and to receive what’s fair and what we deserve.” Said Fuentes.
The IBEW’s Myles Calvey is Chairman of the Union’s T6 Council
“We’re on strike simply to maintain what we have. We’re not asking for outrageous demands. We agree to pay more for our health care. We agree to increase our co-insurance which will help gather in the expenses of health care. We’re all in for that. We’re not going after outrageous salary demands. We’re not going after anything we don’t already have in the contract.”
Calvey says he can’t fathom why Verizon keeps pressing for serious concessions when the company has huge revenue and an average of $1.8 billion a month profit.
“Grand larceny corporate greed at the highest level. And there’s no need for it. And a big piece of their concession is retired members. And it’s just incredible, Corporate greed in your lifetime couldn’t describe this company.”