The Front Line of the Worker’s Struggle: Verizon Workers on Strike!

By Rick Sprout

Nearly 40,000 Verizon customer service reps, network technicians, repair people, and other skilled workers represented by the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers (IBEW) went on strike on April 13 after nearly one year of working without a contract. The issues: better health care, the right to keep their pensions, and to keep jobs in the US rather than outsourcing them to other countries.  In Broome County more than 70 workers have been holding rallies and picketing at the three Verizon sites in the area, the most visible being  the Verizon store on the Vestal Parkway.

Nationally as well as internationally there have been messages of solidarity as workers and community members have participated in rallies of support.  Locally, members of assorted unions, including teachers, postal workers, teamsters, and civil servants as well as religious and friends of labor routinely join in the picketing.  This photo shows the impressive CWA sponsored  traveling billboard that raised all of our spirits on a cold and rainy day in the first week of May.  Picketing has been so successful that the Verizon store was forced to put a sign in the window explaining to customers that the store was still open.  Passing motorists have shown their support by loud honking including many clearly identifiable non-union company vehicles.  The message: Working people know the score – greedy owners make over 300 times more than the average Verizon employee.  Verizon workers are fighting for ALL working people.

The example that LABOR PRODUCES ALL VALUE is never more clearly proven than during strikes when inept ‘managers’ are called in to do the ‘work’- in the case of Verizon this has produced some hilarious comic moments including utility poles ‘repaired’ with duct tape, and YouTube images of managers attempting to load and use ladders.

All are encouraged to lend support & learn about the strike first hand by visiting the Vestal Parkway site and joining the picket line.




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