It's been five months since striking Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members went back to work at Verizon, and they're still waiting and fighting for Verizon to agree to a fair contract that protects middle-class jobs. Instead of bargaining in good faith, though, Verizon has focused on things like sending workers a condescending video calling on them to give in.
Here's a company that paid a negative federal income tax rate from 2008 to 2010, dodged state taxes, raked in enormous state and local subsidies, paid its top executives more than a quarter of a billion dollars over four years, cut jobs and is engaged in a long battle with its union workers over Verizon's demands for things like eliminating their job security and disability benefits, freezing their pensions and downgrading their health insurance.
Verizon has repeatedly made it clear that they agree with the union members that this is a battle over middle-class jobs. Specifically, Verizon thinks middle-class jobs shouldn't be good jobs, that lousy health care and benefits and no job security are good enough for people in the middle class and that working people shouldn't fight for better—job security and good health care should be the province of the 1 percent.
"We need to get their attention," one of the workers in the video above says. "There are 45,000 of us waiting for a fair contract, and they're not listening." Another adds: "We need all of you to be out there and fighting with us. It's not the next guy's job to go out there and he'll cover it."