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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.

Richard August 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM
Striking workers think the public supports them? They obviously haven't been reading Patch. I think they've lost sight of the times.
Maureen August 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Keep going. Five executives taking home nearly $250 million. Wow!
WILLY LOPEZ August 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM
rockland police officers are making great overtime watching "securing" these union strikes. normally the police would be off from work. lol...police industrial complex? na.....
C August 12, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Get back to work...don't let the Union thugs (leadership) brainwash you. The public does not support this strike, the public wants phone/internet service as cheaply as it can get it and that's what the company is trying to do by finally asking the union to make concessions. You think the public supports the 3.6% retro pay increases and 2.5% pay increases coming to the Clarkstown cops? Get back to work or hopefully the company holds the line and moves away from using the union at all.
John August 12, 2011 at 04:31 PM
They should just fire all these workers, and hire new technicians. Unions are ruining this country. Like Reagan did with the Air Traffic Controllers. There are plenty of people looking for work, and productivity will be better, as the current Verizon union workers are lazy and in-efficient.
Mike Hirsch August 12, 2011 at 04:33 PM
This is a classic labor/management dispute. I only wish our public employee unions and their managers (our elected representatives, to whom they unfortunately contribute substantial funds to) would have the same dynamic.
sean moran August 12, 2011 at 04:38 PM
This is a profitable company. We can hardly handle all the Fios work we have. The company is using the bad economy to take advantage of its workforce. Yes, the old wire line business is shrinking but we still have millions of customers. They have reduced the workforce accordingly. Fios is a great product and in high demand. There is enough money to share a little with the men and women who have worked hard to make it successful. What's wrong with having a reasonable benefit package and living wage? We are not getting rich here. But the executives are.
Ken McQuade August 12, 2011 at 05:33 PM
VZ has asked the FBI to step in an investigate the damage being caused by CWA. Trust me this is not management doing this to make the union look bad. The Union states we dont condone acts of sabotage.
Ken McQuade August 12, 2011 at 05:47 PM
The company needs to get to the table with a real agenda and start to work with the Union They are never going to have their raises based on crazy objectives like management Most of the Union guys I talk with would not object to changes in healthcare. The company is trying to make up for lost time while they took back over and over from 1st level and second level management. Warning to the men in Red dont get caught this crew is not letting anyone off.
truedat August 13, 2011 at 01:05 AM
I've been on the picket line since Sunday and the public support has been overwhelming.We've had people bring us beverages, ice cream and newspapers.People that are walking by stop to tell us they understand our fight and support us. Drivers have been honking their horns, giving us thumbs up and peace signs.Only one punk kid in 6 days yelled some smart alec comment. I find this very encouraging and want to thank you all for the support.
C August 13, 2011 at 02:06 AM
truedat - you keep walking that picket line. In 2 weeks when the Union bosses are getting paid and you're getting your $200 a week, let's us know how you feel. What do you think people driving by are going to do? They all just laugh at your stupidity. Read the posts on the patch and lohud, there is very small support of this strike. The union is selling a bill of goods...the company will not settle until your benefits/salary and healthcare is brought in line with the rest of the company/world in general.
Rob August 13, 2011 at 03:16 AM
I can't believe in this day and age, with so many people out of work, these guys are striking. I have been paying part of my medical for about 20 years now in Corporate America. These guys have nice pension plans which will certainly come in handy when they become too old to work. I don't know anyone in the business world who has a defined pension plan. I'll be working till I'm 70. These guys are living in the 1950's. It's the Year 2011. I look back now and if I only knew then what I know now, I certainly would have considered going into a career with a utility company, rail road , telephone company, etc which all have great pension plans. Sure, perhaps the pay maybe slighly less but over the long run, I think the average joe will break collecting a pension for perhaps 30 years for doing nothing assuming they live till 80 years of age or more. Verizon giys, I'm sorry wake up and smell the coffee and this is coming from a guy who grew up in a union family..I can't support you not in this day and age .
k rama August 13, 2011 at 04:20 AM
sorry some people think that unions do not belong in this day and age. to those people that do feel so strongly i suggest you join the picket line for a day .you will be blown away as to the support the public is rendering.the lines have recieved donations of bagles, pizza with toppings. bottled water, sodas ,potato chips.every trucker honks for support. numerous cars honks for support. people are turning away from verizon wireless stores in support. so i wonder who is out of touch at this day and age. it can only be narrow minded low esteemed entities that call thenselves humans.i thank you the public for your support.
steve August 13, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I don't work for Verizon and I am a middle class American-non union-and I can't ever remember a time where there was so much jealousy from one group of middle class workers regarding another group of middle class workers.The comments shouldn't be since I don't have something they shouldn't either, or I have to pay this so should they, it should be they have it, why don't I, or they don't pay for this why do I? Again the middle class fights with each other over crumbs. Pensions are not outdated, we've been brainwashed to think that they are and frankly, we don't have the balls to fight for it. I'm guilty too, believe me. The answer is obvious, join a union, it's only because they are in a Union and can bargain collectively that they have better leverage than the rest of us. It's why we all don't have defined pensions. It's why businesses belong to a chamber of commerce, strength in numbers. But I'm not jealous of the strikers, and I will proudly support them because they are my neighbors and friends.They live, work, and spend money in our communities.They are fighting against a greedy corporation that should be raising the standard of living for all Americans. Verizon made 15 Billion dollars in profit last year and paid nothing in federal income taxes, zero. Anyone else not pay taxes? If workers lose this fight, what do you think will happen to our wages and the benefits we have? I can answer that, our wages will not go up and we will pay more for, or have no benefits at all.
truedat August 13, 2011 at 04:12 PM
The middle class is almost extinct in this country due to corporatio­ns like Verizon. Verizon paid no federal income taxes the past 2 years (good trick, can you teach the rest of us how to do it?) Verizon took a billion and a half dollars in bailout money from the Govt (which is really you and me,by the way)just a short time after THe CEO publicly said that Verizon didn't need any bailout money! Verizon makes a ton of money and before you give me the company talking point of "but the POTS side of the business loses money" -- I'm a COT and I work on FIOS, DSL on copper, and wireless traffic circuits from T1 to OC192 level every day! The top few execs were paid over 60 Million $$ last year. I don't see them volunteeri­ng for any kind of cuts for themselves­. The company has already gotten rid of a ton of workers over the past few years. First the craft hired after 2003 was laid off and then alot of people took that retirement package last year. This is leaving the public with the bare minimum of service. I wish the union would go public with just how bad it is and embarrass the company.Yo­u would not believe the geographic area I am expected to cover. Now the company is going to jump on the current anti union sentiment and try to take back everything the union ever negotiated­. Pension/he­althcare/o­vertime/ho­lidays etc.”
truedat August 13, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Verizons real goal is to ship as many American jobs to India as they can. They've done it already and they will continue as long as the non union middle class and the union middle class are duped into fighting with each other. THINK !!
Michele August 15, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Well said Steve!
Mike Hirsch August 15, 2011 at 05:06 AM
The middle class is shrinking because we have no national industrialization policy. For godsake, we are importing wind turbines from China. Our nation needs to start manufacturing again for one thing. Secondly, we need to close the tax loopholes so that corporations doing business outside the US pay their fare share of taxes. Congress recently gave themselves a $3,000/month cost of living increase and enjoy no cost (to them) healthcare benefits thar most Americans would die for. Until we fix the politics of Washington and our state capitols, most of us will see our standard of living continue to decline. Our children are graduating college and entering a job market that does not exist. Most people do not vote, and most of those that do vote are not very well informed. Very few average citizens are actively working to change our political culture. Term limits are a start. Come to the Clarkstown Town Council meeting this Tuesday and get involved. The Clarkstown Taxpayer Group is trying to make a difference. We believe that enduring change begins at the local level. We need your support.
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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