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Verizon Workers Picketing FIOS and Wireless Locations

Workers blame corporate greed for strike.

Verizon workers walked the picket line in Nanuet for the second day vowing to stay off the job as long as necessary. In Rockland County, there are about 300 employees based at Verizon FIOS garages in Nanuet and Pomona. Workers walked off the job at 12:01 a.m. Sunday in a dispute with management over contract concessions.

In Nanuet, dozens of striking workers carrying signs converged on the three driveway entrances to the garage where FIOS trucks sat idle. Strikers also picketed in front of the Wireless Store on Route 59 in Nanuet. They said they just want to be treated fairly.

“We’re company men,” said Gregory Fein, a field technician. “We love Verizon. I’m a stockholder. Everyone on the line is a stockholder.”

Shop Steward Joe Krische of West Nyack said, “We don’t want the whole pie. We just want our piece. 

Verizon spokesman John Bonamo said that the wireless division has nothing to do with the strike.

"That adds an added matter of inconvenience for our customers when people on this side of the business go to (picket) the Verizon Wireless stores," Bonamo said. "One has nothing to do with the other."

Workers claimed Verizon’s successful wireline business provided the funding for the wireless division to grow.

“Now that the FIOS network is built, they want to take our benefits away,” said Bob Milone, CWA 1107 secretary/treasurer.

Through a press release sent out Monday, Verizon is also claiming that customers have only seen minimal disruptions in service despite "At least 12 acts of sabotage in its communication facilities in four states." They are claiming that fiber-optic lines have been cut in 10 separate incidents. Verizon has also accused the striking workers of illegally blocking management from entering work centers and garages.

"These acts of sabotage are reprehensible," said Verizon Chief Security Officer Mike Mason. "In addition to inconveniencing our customers, these deliberate disruptions of our network have affected hospitals, paramedics, fire fighters, law enforcement and other first responders. Verizon is working closely with local authorities to investigate these sabotage incidents, and identify and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law. And we will not hesitate to terminate any employees who may be involved in these acts."

"Our contingency plan is in full effect, and our management employees are stepping in to cover our workload," said Bob Mudge, Verizon's president of consumer and mass markets. "We are committed to delivering excellent customer service, and that's exactly what we plan to do."

The release acknowledges that customers may have to wait longer for repair work and when calling Verizon for sales or customer service.

Bargaining between Verizon and its employees began in late June. Local Vice President Eric Goodwin said he has been told management is seeking 100 givebacks that would erase all the benefits gained over the past 50 years.

That proposal, Goodwin said, “is basically taking our whole contract and throwing it in the garbage.”

Both sides blamed each other. Bonamo said the company wants a $100 a month health care contribution put into place. He said that the company has been spending $4 billion a year – or $400,000 an hour – on health care costs in recent years. He also said the company’s other 135,000 employees contribute to their health care costs.

The union has countered, saying Verizon also wants to cut employee pensions and health care benefits, cap sick time at five days per person and institute merit pay.

New City-based CWA Local 1107 (Communications Workers of America) represents about 800 active and retired employees who live or work in Rockland County. The CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represent about 45,000 Verizon workers in the Northeast.

concernedaboutthehallow August 13, 2011 at 04:55 PM
You keep pulling those articles and keep spinning your BS no one is buying it.
concernedaboutthehallow August 13, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Not hating on working class at all I am part of the working class..not sure why you consider unions the working class when in reality they "work" a whole lot less then the real working class....that is my point
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 05:42 PM
That's pretty funny. I guess you'd rather believe whatever you believe rather than learn something. Are you scared that you might actually be wrong about something? I see I omitted the link to the investment article. http://seekingalpha.com/article/177645-comparing-shipping-giants-fedex-vs-ups
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 05:44 PM
So what is the "real working class" in your opinion? People who make under a certain amount of money? People who do certain kinds of jobs? People who have to accept whatever the bosses demand? Please enlighten me.
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 05:57 PM
For those who are actually interested in the issue at hand, I found some information on Verizon's demands. Verizon wants to be able to outsource more jobs, including sending jobs overseas, slash sick days, eliminate benefits for workers who get hurt on the job, and cut the healthcare benefits they promised retirees. The total Verizon wants is $1 billion in concessions. That's for 45,000 workers, so that comes out to around $20K a worker per year.
Shar August 13, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Lesly...helloooooooo, the UNION is striking... NOT Verizon
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 06:07 PM
The workers' contract was up, so a new contract was needed. This is what Verizon demanded in the new contract, and have not budget. That's why the workers are striking. Perhaps it would be helpful if you understood what was going on before you posted?
Earl August 13, 2011 at 06:59 PM
Just an angry bunch of jackwagons. This is about preserving decent middle class jobs. Many here talk of how great VZ benefits and wages are- they're right- they are pretty good. Why would anyone want someone elses standard of living actually lowered? Remember if the corporations succeed in killing the unions and these good paying jobs, it only LOWERS the bar for the rest of you, and you'll never have the ability to get one of those jobs to improve your own quality of life. Am a Vz union worker and I work my A** off everyday- because I want the company to succeed- besides, the old monopoly days are gone- we are tracked with video surveilance, GPS sattelites and various computer systems all day in addition to our supervisors- there is not much time to do anything but work! Which is fine with me!
MA August 13, 2011 at 07:07 PM
Shar, I've said nothing hateful. If that's how you interpret facts so be it, it says far more about you and your pov than it does about me. I was educated before I went to work for Verizon, neither they nor the Union "schooled" me. No reasonable, intelligent person can be swayed or talked into anything that doesn't make sense to them based on logic and facts. When you were in college you needed to do research before you were able to write a cogent paper. The same is true in life. Again, we're all entitled to our opinion, that's all that it is however unless supported by facts. Namaste
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 07:09 PM
I know. Sigh. I don't know whether their heads have been so filled with radical right rantings that they can't think for themselves, whether they're jealous of anyone who is like them but is doing better, or whether they think that if they tear down the unions they'll do a little better themselves. Or some combination of the preceding. They keep saying, "this is a new world." Does that mean that they're OK with the rich getting richer and everyone else grateful just to have a job? That's a pretty sad view of America. Not to mention that "We the people" and "One nation, with liberty and justice for all" seems to mean nothing to them. This lack of patriotism is appalling.
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 07:15 PM
MA, you have to understand that Shar believes in the New World Order conspiracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Order_(conspiracy_theory) and read anything she says in that context. As to the others, I don't have any explanation other than brainwashing and/or envy.
Shar August 13, 2011 at 07:43 PM
So tell me again.....why are you jealous of the rich lesly and ma?
MA August 13, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Doesn't matter how many times you say it (well said, btw!) or what facts you share, the "anti-union" rhetoric is the same, it doesn't change. No rhyme or reason, impressions, opinions with no supporting factual information. Disappointing, disconcerting and just plain sad. I know Meredith, I've asked the same- alright with CEO's making millions yet angered by hard working middle-class Americans earning a decent wage, with good benefits. It is so UNAmerican and agreed, unpatriotic!
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 07:51 PM
So tell me, Shar, why do you believe in the New World Order? And are you for or against it?
MA August 13, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Seriously....again?? Neither of us claim to be (my apologies for speaking for you here, Meredith!) jealous of the rich, where did you get that out of any of what either of us has said? Shouldn't surprise me, despite any real information in the postings which are never addressed, the focus continues to be on the rhetoric. Let me ask you Shar, why do you continue to rally for the rich and CEO's rather than hard-working Middle-Class Americans?
Shar August 13, 2011 at 08:22 PM
So why do UNION thugs go around and sabotage the company they work for and the company that pays their salary //// That doesn't seem fair to me...you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 08:24 PM
So far I've been "accused" of being a liberal, a marxist, a socialist, a commie, a corporate shill, a limousine liberal, rich, poor, a teacher, a liar, and a union member. There are probably a few I've forgotten as well. A number of I've been called several of those things by the same person, despite the contradictory nature of many of them I find it particularly amusing to be told I'm spinning things when I state some facts without any opinion at all. Also amusing is when I'm called a liar, despite the fact that I've either included a link to the source or it's easily verified. As to why people who are (allegedly) not doing all that well keep sticking up for the people who tanked the economy and exploiting the results, I don't know. Unless, of course, they don't actually believe what they're saying and just looking for attention. Or perhaps they're actually very well off and that's where the defensiveness comes from. Or, like Shar, conspiracists. Ignorant people have nothing to fall back on but ad hominem attacks when their beliefs are even the slightest bit challenged. God forbid that they consider the possibility that they might be even the slightest bit wrong.
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 08:31 PM
"Shar 1:26pm on Monday, July 18, 2011 Bush 43 and his Father, both, were for a NWO and that Lesly is what we are fighting against." Enough said.
Shar August 13, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Lesly, glad you ask NWO here is a man who vants a nu vorld ordr and the dollar to collapse...not a friend of the US but a very GOOD friend of Obama http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_ur1M1ya4U
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 08:38 PM
I guess you don't like Woodrow Wilson either? Assuming you know who he is.
hugo August 13, 2011 at 08:56 PM
the ceo,S DO NOT PAY FOR HEALTH CARE AND HAVE IT FREE TILL THEY DIE.
hugo August 13, 2011 at 08:57 PM
THEY DON'T
hugo August 13, 2011 at 09:07 PM
you are wrong about the drills it was so no damage would be done to a house if you were caught using one you would be terminated
hugo August 13, 2011 at 09:09 PM
you could not pass the entrance exam to get the job when I was hired it took 60,000 aplicants to get 1,500 workers out of them 700 passed the physical
MA August 13, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Slash, attack, rhetoric....you never answer anything directly Shar, you extract the iota of untruth that you cling to as though it were a life preserver. You've been given many facts yet you revert to the "same old, same old". State your case, fortified with facts and we can have a rational conversation- oh, but that's not what you're here for. As for "the thugs", asked and answered, there are always a bad apple or two among us. Unfair to paint us with the same brush. They do neither speak for the Union employees nor the Union, they serve no good purpose and detract from the issues at hand. (They are probably the same "thugs" we all encountered on the school playground, a few just never outgrow it!) Meredith, think you may be onto something here....is it about revisionist History or no History at all! Am curious as to if this is a generational attitude as well, if so God help us!
hugo August 13, 2011 at 09:12 PM
verizon does not care about the customer the techs do verizon cares about the share holders when you call for service they look at you as an expense.
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 09:21 PM
I think most of the radical right posters here are middle-age or retired, actually, not young folks. Or trolls. Not always easy to tell utter ignorance from a troll. (That's a term for people who post just to get a reaction, in case you're not familiar with it.)
MA August 13, 2011 at 09:23 PM
As far as Frontier and Pioneer, they did not want what Verizon unloaded on them, by law they had to take it as a regional telephone provider. How did that come about, perhaps because Verizon had milions to spend on lobbying for that legislation. When the local providers are unable to be profitable with such "assets" it effects not only their business, but the regional and hence state economy as well. They inherit antiquated central offices and infrastructure which Verizon with it's resources refused to update. Should we all be applauding their business model when it's at the taxpayers expense, I think not. I pay my taxes and it is only right that Verizon Communications pay their corporate taxes as well.
concernedaboutthehallow August 13, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Shrill I think is right word for you actually and yes you guessed I am a troll living under a bridge....now pay the toll shrill....
Meredith Lesly August 13, 2011 at 10:06 PM
lol. You think I'm not capable of clicking a link? You've been played.

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