Verizon On Strike
August 7, 2011 by staff
Verizon On Strike, Forty-five thousand workers at Verizon Communications Inc. Massachusetts to Washington, DC, went on strike Sunday after failed talks on a new labor contract for more than a fifth of the workforce of the company.
Verizon is the largest mobile operator, but the contract which expired at midnight Saturday covers workers in the division of the company’s fixed telephony, including local telephone operations, services to businesses and governments and long distance traffic wholesale.
The talks in Philadelphia and New York stalled Saturday night after Verizon over 100 continued to demand concessions from workers about health care, pensions and work rules, said the Communications Workers of America.
Mark C. Reed, Verizon executive vice president, human resources, called the result of union action “regrettable” for customers and employees.
“We will continue doing our part to reach a new contract that reflects the economic realities of today in our wireline business and serves the needs of all parties,” he said in a statement.
Workers covered by the contract expired include 10,000 represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who work as technical telephone and repair, customer service representatives, operators and more. Contract negotiations began June 22.
“Even when 11, as contracts expire, Verizon continued to try to strip 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle-class workers and their families,” CWA said in a statement Sunday.
New York, Verizon has 196,000 employees, 135,000 are not unionized.
The CWA said that the award is not justified and hard, considering that Verizon is very profitable – the company’s revenue rose 2.8 percent to 27.5 billion in the second quarter. Its growth was attributed mainly to its mobile phone business.
But Verizon said its fixed line business has been in decline for over a decade, and is calling for changes to the contract to strengthen the unity. The company said that union employees contribute nothing to their insurance premiums.
Verizon activated a contingency plan to ensure that customers experienced “temporary interruption in service” for the duration of the strike.
“Tens of thousands of Verizon managers and other staff have been trained to intervene and work tasks of emergency,” said Verizon spokesman Rich Young.
A customer satisfaction survey released in May showed Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. ranked first among the four major wireless providers. The survey covered 8,000 households in the first quarter of this year.
Verizon added 1.26 million wireless subscribers under contract in the period April to June this year, a result that goes against the slowdown in new subscribers in the industry over the past two years. A year ago, Verizon just added 665,000 subscribers on contract.
Verizon closed the last quarter with 106.3 million devices connected to your wireless network. No. 2 and the main rival of AT & T is trying to take a leap of Verizon in the size of the purchase No. 4 T-Mobile USA of 39 million dollars.
Lowell McAdam, the former head of Verizon Wireless, became CEO of Verizon Communications Inc. on August 1, replacing Ivan Seidenberg. Seidenberg, CEO for a long time, remains chairman of the company.
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