On Monday afternoon, Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined with hundreds of NYC CWA members for a rally right outside the Verizon Wireless store on 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
As CWA members waved signs that read "Stop Verizon Wireless Corporate Greed," and "Build Up FiOS, Not Executive Pay," Bernie expressed total support for our fight, denouncing Verizon's corporate greed and blasting Wireless for firing Bianca Cunningham, one of the lead organizers of the Verizon Wireless retail store workers in Brooklyn. "The middle class in this country is disappearing, and what Verizon is doing to its workers is exactly what has got to be fought if we are going to rebuild the American middle class," Senator Sanders said, as crowds of bystanders stopped to listen.
Senator Sanders was joined on the stage not only by Bianca, but CWA District One Vice President Dennis Trainor and former CWA President Larry Cohen. He ended his remarks by demanding that Verizon sit down and negotiate fair contracts at Verizon and Verizon Wireless, and rehire Bianca. "We have got to build a political movement in this country which says to corporate America this country and our government belong to all of us not just a handful of billionaires," Bernie told the cheering crowd.
Next Wednesday night on Bernie's labor teleconference call, he will feature Bianca Cunningham as one of his guest speakers. Union members who want to hear this call have to register online, in advance. You can register through a link on the www.standuptoverizon.com website.
We want to express our gratitude to former President Cohen and Senator Bernie Sanders for their efforts this week to focus public attention and anger on the outrageous, greedy conduct of Verizon's top executives. We know that we can count on their support in the weeks and months to come.
On Wednesday and Thursday CWA District 1/IBEW Local 2213 and IBEW New England Regional Committees met at the Rye Town Hilton in Westchester.
There is still no progress to report on any of the major issues. The Company is still proposing to shifts thousands of dollars of healthcare costs onto our members, diminish our retirement benefits, they want the ability to contract out call center work and eliminate our Job Security.
Continue to send the message to Verizon that their retrogressive demands are not acceptable. Do this by participating in Mobilization actions.
Whether you are a current employee or a retiree, we need you to be involved.
It's time for every member and every retiree to pledge to spend at least 2 hours per week participating in off the job mobilization activities.
Call your local or talk to your steward and find out what you can do to help.
IT'S TIME TO FIGHT BACK!
NOW MORE THAN EVER WE NEED TO MOBILIZE!
Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!