The Stand

Support CWA, IBEW Verizon workers’ fight for fair contract

UPDATED to include all four Verizon actions Thursday in Western Washington.

Verizon has made tens of billions in profits and its top executives walked away with $283 million in the last four years. But when it comes to the 45,000 workers who made Verizon’s success possible, suddenly the company cries that it’s “broke.”

Verizon has sent thousands of American jobs overseas and wants to outsource even more jobs, gut pensions, charge current and retired employees thousands of dollars more for health benefits, and cut disability benefits for workers injured during their jobs.

On Thursday, March 22, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and thousands of others will be rallying around the country to support good jobs and the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act.

TAKE A STAND!  Join in this national day of action by helping leaflet Thursday outside these Verizon Stores:

SEATTLE — 6th & Olive downtown from 4 to 5 p.m., organized by the M.L. King County Labor Council (get details)

SILVERDALE — 10710 Silverdale Way NW from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., organized by the Kitsap County Labor Council (details)

TACOMA — 4009 Tacoma Mall Blvd. from 5 to 6:30 p.m., organized by the Pierce County Central Labor Council (details)

VANCOUVER — 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive from 4 to 5 p.m., organized by the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council (details)

Click here to find other events nationwide to support the 45,000 Verizon workers.

Following a two-week strike last summer, workers returned to work after Verizon agreed to bargain for a fair contract. But since then, Verizon has fired some workers who took part in the strike, has shipped jobs overseas and wants to outsource even more jobs. The company is demanding that workers pay thousands of dollars more for health care coverage with slashed benefits. Verizon even wants to cut disability benefits for workers injured doing their jobs.

Verizon receives so many taxpayer subsidies — more than $12 billion from 2008-10, according to a Citizens for Tax Justice report — that it paid an effective tax rate of -2.9% on its $32.5 billion in profits during that period. Meanwhile, Verizon continues to pay executives exorbitant salaries.

Along with the call for a fair contract, activists in Thursday’s day of action will be building support for the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act. The bipartisan bill bans federal grants or guaranteed loans to U.S. companies that move call center jobs overseas. It also requires the Department of Labor to maintain a list of companies that send call center jobs offshore. Customers must be told when they are connected to an offshore location and allowed to have their calls transferred to a U.S. agent on request.

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