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Verizon Strikers Say Public Supports Them

Verizon gets injunctions to limit picketing

At the end of their fifth day of striking against Verizon, Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1107 members said the public supports them.

We’ve had a lot of support from the public,” said one striking worker. “We’re thankful for the support we got from passersby.”

Another picketing worker added that several teachers and nurses joined their protest during the day.

Verizon issued a statement that “since August 6, Verizon crews have encountered more than 90 acts of sabotage against network facilities.”  The acts temporarily affected service to thousands of customers across the Northeast. In most cases, crews restored service within 24 hours.

Negotiations are under way in Rye Brook and Philadelphia between Verizon, the CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. According to the strikers, the talks are not making much progress.

“They’re meeting,” said Shop Steward Joe Krische of West Nyack. “They’re talking. I understand it’s not going very well.”

Verizon wants workers to pay for part of their medical insurance. The unions say the company wants too many givebacks and is looking to eliminate middle class jobs.

The striking workers began their protest at 5:30 a.m. Thursday outside Verizon’s garage in Nanuet, earlier than other days. They said the management employees filling their jobs started working earlier and so they moved up their picketing.

“We change our strategy and times to put the most out to the community,” said Eric Duiel.

Verizon stated it “has received numerous reports of union picketers intimidating drivers and illegally blocking garage and work center entrances. These incidents have created dangerous and disruptive work environments both for employees attempting to provide support to Verizon customers and for the picketers themselves.”

The CWA and IBEW issued a joint statement on the issue.

“We fully expect that union members will respect and follow the law. Our unions do not condone violence in any form. 

Safety is paramount, and that's why we're also calling on Verizon to make sure that our members on the picket lines aren't hurt by replacement workers and management while the strike continues. “

The CWA members would not comment on Verizon’s actions in court except to say they are not intimidating people.

Verizon has obtained injunctions that prevent intimidation and illegal blocking of facilities in New York and other states. The injunction restricts picketing to no closer than 15 feet from any entrance to Verizon facilities.  It limits the number of strikers to 15 outside facilities that typically employ 50 to 100 employees and 30 strikers at sites with 100 to 300 employees.

The CWA and IBEW represent about 45,000 workers in the Northeast. The CWA Local in New city represents about 300 workers at the Verizon FIOS garages in Nanuet and Pomona.

Tina August 16, 2011 at 12:05 AM
I support the Verizon Workers in their effort of fair wages, pensions and benefits. Those who do not support unions don't full understand the benefits all workers have as the result of unions. Unions do not run the country. Big Governement does, but that is another subject totally. Verizon needs to wake up and stop crying poverty. They are a billion dollar profit business. My father worked for Verizon (MA Bell back then) for over 30 years. Now Verizon wants to take away their promise of pensions (it may be some or even all of the pension he will loose). Verizon you are robbers if you do that and should be prosecuted as thieves. Coporate American is killing the middle class!
Atom August 16, 2011 at 04:48 AM
The Verizon workers don't have all the public support....many people don't realize all the benefits that the strikers have...when someone in Verizon calls in sick on a Monday, they take the whole week off because it's just a "step"--who else has this benefit?...many people have been paying for health benefits for yrs..why not them?...things may change next week when they all receive letters from management stating they will no longer have health benefits as of aug 30th......but the Union bosses are leading them all down the sewer...the union leaders are still getting paid....so don't be so sure the public is on your side...I'm in a union and I think Verizon is not keeping up with the times...people no longer use LAN lines and the company has to make cuts somewhere...so please spare us your crocodile tears.
Atom August 16, 2011 at 04:58 AM
Your gonna need those beverages, ice cream and newspapers in two weeks when you no longer have health benefits- (because that is what management is doing..you should be receiving the letter in the mail this week)...so please don't think everyone is on your side...Verizon workers have been fed a lotof crap from the union bosses...they still make a lot of money and have health benefits but you won't.
WR September 21, 2012 at 02:41 AM
I certainly support them - no jealousy from me and I'm in a completely different line of work. Their fight is related to all the fights we have with the minority of greedy Executives who care more about maximizing their bonuses rather than fair pay - in the USA - for the majority of employees. This isn't unique to Verizon.
Walt September 21, 2012 at 02:49 AM
I guess you wanted to give this one some thought before you commented. Well done.

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