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PRESS & MEDIA:
Verizon Workers seek VP Biden's support
Newsday August 11, 2011
Verizon, union trade abuse charges
Newsday August 10, 2011
Verizon Workers hit picket lines
L.I. Business News August 8, 2011
Verizon eyes strike as deadline nears
Newsday August 6, 2011
Citing Lack of Progress, Verizon Workers Threaten Strike
New York Times August 6, 2011
Verizon workers hold informational picket
August 4, 2011 The OBSERVER (Dunkirk, NY)
Verizon pursues tough line on labor
Wall Street Journal July 13, 2011
CWA Local 1104 votes for union strike
Newsday July 8, 2011
Lowell McAdam's response to Local 1101's open letter
I read with interest your open letter about our recent advertisements on the matters at issue in our current contract negotiations. Unfortunately, your letter perpetuates some of the factual errors the CWA has been disseminating to its members.
Health care. Under our current proposal, we are asking that associates share the cost of health care premiums, as all management employees do today. No one in management – including Ivan Seidenberg and me – has “free health care for life.” We all pay a portion of health care premiums. Depending on the plan, premium contributions for family coverage average between $1,200 and $3,000 a year, a far cry from the inflammatory figure of $6,000 a year that you cite. Under our current proposal, our employee benefits will remain near the top of those offered by comparable companies.
I know many people share your frustration with the U.S. health care system. We can’t fix that. What we can and must address, however, is the rapid escalation in the $4 billion Verizon spends on health care every year. Revising these “Cadillac” plans by having union members contribute to the cost of their health care premiums – as do 99 percent of Americans – is an important step toward this goal.
Work rules and job security. Verizon is committed to maintaining safe working conditions and to the fair and ethical treatment of our workers. It stretches credulity, however, to suggest that every current work rule is essential to safety or fair treatment. For example, one rule requires call center employees to transfer customers to different representatives for different services, adding to the customer’s inconvenience and frustration. Some locals have rules that restrict us from recording calls between our representatives and customers, which makes it hard to investigate customer complaints. And in too many instances, the rules governing absence and extra pay result in continually high absence rates. We believe these rules are not only costly and inappropriate for today’s environment, they also are demoralizing for the thousands of Verizon employees, associates included, who work hard every day for our customers.
Verizon Wireless dividend. The $10 billion “payment” you refer to is actually a dividend to the co-owners of Verizon Wireless -- Vodafone and Verizon – as a return on their investment. Verizon will receive $5.5 billion of this amount, which will be used to invest in the business, pay down debt and go toward other corporate purposes.
Wireline network investment. Verizon continues to serve millions of customers with our copper network. However, technology and competition are rapidly eroding our traditional business, as customers demand services for which our copper network is simply not equipped. Verizon is the only company in America that has invested in a fiber-optic network to carry video and high-speed Internet data directly to customers’ homes. In the last two years alone, we have invested $16.2 billion of shareowner money in our wireline infrastructure, transforming our business and creating great jobs and a bright future for our unionized workers in the process.
Overseas workers. Verizon Business operates call centers in the Philippines and other overseas locations to serve the needs of international business customers with premises around the globe. In addition, Verizon has employees in call centers outside the U.S. in a variety of IT and technical support functions, which helps us work on a 24-hour business cycle. Still, the overwhelming majority of representatives serving our domestic residential customer base are based in the U.S.
Inflammatory rhetoric. It’s important that we keep our public statements focused on the issues being debated in the current negotiations, rather than use past tragedies to inflame emotions. As leaders, we have a mutual responsibility to maintain civility in our dealings with each other and ensure that the adversarial stance of union-management negotiations does not escalate into violence or destructive behavior.
Angel, like you, I have spent a lifetime in this company. I respect your passion and share your love for the values that have made Verizon great. We are proud to provide challenging, meaningful and well-compensated jobs for thousands of unionized workers and will continue to do so under the terms of the contract we’ve proposed.
We look forward to continuing our dialogue and a reaching a resolution in the best long-term interests of your members, our customers, our shareowners and our company.
Chief Communications Officer