Last Thursday, CWA members, activists and supporters joined in a national day of action in calling for a fair contract with Verizon. The day of action included rallies in major cities, workplace actions, marches and leafleting outside Verizon Wireless stores. Richard Hatch, President of CWA Local 2201 says, “We want customers to know that if they want to support good middle class jobs in America then they need to be supporting us.”
Verizon is looking to gut retirement security, disability insurance and health care for its employees. This is after making record profits and tripling the compensation for CEO Lowell McAdams, bumping it from $7.3 million to $23.1 million. “This is a billion dollar company. Not million, billion with a “B.” I’m not sure why they want us to make sacrifices when they’re not willing to,” Kerri Ross, CWA Local 2201.
“They say they want to keep in line with corporate America. Well, instead of being the follower, be the leader,” notes Jim Wilson, retiree of the US Navy and a long-time employee of Verizon. He concluded, “Show corporate America what they should be doing and not what they think they ought to be doing.”
Kim Johnson, a technician for Verizon, described the importance of getting a fair contract, “My stability is at stake. My children’s future is at stake. I’m the mother of two college students. I want to get them through school.” She was frustrated that the company was stalling, noting, “It’s been 9 months at this point. We could’ve had a baby by now!”
I have a mother who is a retiree of the company and usually the company will take good care of them. But now you have the retirees fighting to keep what they’ve worked so hard for including people who have given the company 30 or 40 plus years.
– Michelle Camp, CWA Local 2201
In Lynchburg, Naomi Bolden of CWA Local 2204 explained that, “the stress of not knowing weighs a lot on your family. They’re worried about you and how you’re doing. We just want Verizon to step to the table and do what’s right.”
Naomi also urged community support for The United States Call Center and Consumer Protection Bill (HR3596) which “requires companies to go on a list if they’re outsourcing jobs. It requires a representative on the other end of a customer service call to let you know who they are and where they are. It also protects you as a citizen because your information is not as secure in other countries as it is here in America.”
Naomi asked people to reach out to their Congressional representatives, “It doesn’t matter which party you affiliate with, this bill keeps jobs in America.”
Take Action : Tell Congress to bring call center jobs back home