The CWA District 1/IBEW Local 2213 and IBEW New England Regional Committees met today at the Rye town Hilton.
We informed the Company bargaining committee members that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam had been out to a few picket lines talking to striking members.
We advised them that McAdam made the following incorrect statements to our members:
- The stuff about taking job security away is "B.S."
- Medical benefits and wages are settled.
- Only DSL calls are being routed to the Philippines
At first, the Company said that they heard that McAdam had been to picket lines but they were unfamiliar with what he actually said. (CEO goes to picket line, articulates company bargaining position to striking workers, but the company bargaining team is unaware of what he is saying?) Then they argued that what McAdam said didn't matter anyway because their proposal speaks for itself.(CEO's bargaining position doesn't matter; he's only the CEO). Since the Company had not seen the tape of the Syracuse encounter, we showed it to them so they could hear their CEO making these statements. The Company had no explanation to offer after viewing the tape.
We then had a heated discussion regarding transfers.
The Union gave examples that show that the company already has a great deal of flexibility on in-state transfers and that the Company routinely misuses that flexibility at the expense of our members. The Union pointed out that over the term of the last contract the Company permanently transferred thousands of workers and also temporarily transferred thousands more workers throughout New York State. When the Union asked the Company for information on the numbers of temporary transfers they told us that they don't keep track of that. (Verizon doesn't know where their employees are working - Really?)
We also discussed the Company's Article 8 proposal and the Company was unsure on how this proposal would affect their employees.
We asked the Company if they had anything to address our needs - they said No.
The Company has not moved off of any of their retrogressive proposals.
Sooner or later the company will get the message: Our members are united in the fight for good jobs. We are NOT backing down. If they didn't know it before yesterday, 8000 strikers and their allies marching in the streets of Manhattan should have convinced them. Yesterday was incredible-a terrific job done by all the locals. Many members are saying it was the best rally they could ever remember!
Picket lines are strong everywhere. We are hitting the Wireless stores hard. We are getting internal, reliable reports from Wireless stores that sales are plummeting. We are keeping customers out. Keep up the good work.
CWA and IBEW are showing the way for the country. As Bernie Sanders told 8500 supporters in Queens last night: "These men and women on strike at Verizon are fighting for every working person in America!" Keep up the great work!