Verizon Strike: ‘Clearly Union Busting’ as ‘Final Offer’ is Rejected

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Workers Independent News is heard Monday through Friday at 8:45 and 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

“It’s clearly union busting. That’s all it is now,” says the IBEW’s Myles Calvey on the Verizon strike, now in its third week.

Verizon has given the 39,000 CWA and IBEW strikers what the company says is its final offer on a new labor contract. The unions will come back this week with their own proposal.

Calvey says Verizon’s so-called final offer hardly moved from the company’s hardline concessions position.

“Very few changes. They changed one thing on the benefits that’s a hot item and that was they agreed to keep worker’s comp separate. They increased the wages from six and a half percent to seven and a half percent (over the life of the contract). They did nothing with the health care proposal. They did nothing with our pension proposal. And those are two big issues. They still insist to maintain job security that they need other concessions.”

Calvey says strike solidarity is strong but there have been some scabs crossing the picket lines.

“Spirit is strong. Everybody understands the issue. Everybody feels we’re on the right side of the issue. Nobody is pointing the finger at the union—we should do this we should do that—none of that is happening so far.

But, you know, we definitely have some scabs. We have some members that cross the picket line and it always cracks me up. Everything they got is through the union, now they have to do what’s best for their family—to me which is only selfishness. But, you know, this is my fifth strike and I haven’t been through any strikes that somebody didn't cross the line. We will prevail.”

Detroit Teacher Sickout Closes Public Schools

A Detroit teacher “sickout” Monday closed 94 of the city’s 97 public schools.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers’ Ivy Bailey says the 1,500 teachers learned they might not be paid after June 30. The teachers rallied Monday at a school administration building.

Teachers have been calling on the state legislature to stabilize funding for Detroit Public Schools. Coincidentally, Tuesday is National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Suburban Chicago Fast Food Workers Rally, Urge Oak Park to Pass $15 Wage Ordinance

Fast food workers rallied in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park Monday, demanding a $15 an hour living wage ordinance. Workers rallied and planned a march to the Village Hall meeting to request the ordinance.

Clergy and other supporters joined the fast food workers, who want $15 an hour and union rights.

Suburban fast food workers around Chicago say they are making less than $10 an hour on average. According to the MIT living wage calculator an adult with one child needs $23.53 an hour working full-time to afford the basics in the Chicago metro area.