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Unions are challenging Verizon's recent decisions to cut pensions, change work rules and make employees pay more for healthcare

We are living in an increasingly wireless world, where smartphones, tablets, laptops and many other gadgets can be seen around every corner. With so many wireless device options, more and more people are getting rid of their landline phones, and Verizon has certainly recognized these losses. 

Due to this evolution in the way we communicate, Verizon has seen a decline in its wireline business (landlines and FiOS services) over the past decade, and is now looking to keep costs "in check." Some of these changes include cutting pensions, changing work rules and making employees pay more for healthcare.

Two unions -- the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers -- which represent 45,000 Verizon employees, entered into contract negotiations with Verizon in late June. The unions are challenging Verizon's proposal that employees pay $1,300 to $3,000 for family healthcare coverage, as well as the freezing of pensions for current employees, the elimination of pensions for future employees, and the limitation of five sick days per year when there was no previous limit. In addition, Verizon wants to make it easier to lay off employees without buying them out and give raises based solely on job performance, allowing the company to deny annual raises to employees that don't measure up.

Verizon responded by saying its unionized employees are "well paid," with many field technicians making $100,000 a year including overtime as well as $50,000 in benefits. The unions said field technicians make $60,000 to $77,000 a year without overtime and that benefits do not reach $50,000 a year.

Both sides could not reach an agreement, and at 12:20 a.m. on Sunday, August 7, the 45,000 union workers at Verizon's U.S. Northeast wireline unit went on strike

"Since bargaining began on June 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands," said the unions in a statement. "Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families."

Verizon released a statement early Sunday morning, saying that it was unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with the unions, and that it activated a contingency plan to make sure landline customers were not affected during this time. 

"It's regrettable for our employees and our customers [that the unions] have decided to walk away from the table instead of continuing to work through the issues," said Mark C. Reed, Verizon's executive vice president of human resources.

Despite Verizon's statement, Candice Johnson, a spokeswoman for the workers on strike, said that the talks had continued at 12:30 a.m. 

Verizon is currently filling the positions of these workers with tens of thousands of management retirees and employees, and it feels confident that its wireline services will continue without any problems.

Verizon Communications shares fell 3 percent in premarket trading on Monday after the strike had began.

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By cjohnson2136 on 8/8/2011 11:15:07 AM , Rating: 3
employees pay $1,300 to $3,000 for family healthcare coverage,

Are those numbers per year? Because if they are that is not that much for healthcare for a family. That would equates to about 50-115 dollars a pay, assuming they are paid biweekly which is a responsible range for healthcare.

RE: HealthCare
By Devilpapaya on 8/8/2011 11:27:21 AM , Rating: 3
Verizon responded by saying its unionized employees are "well paid," with many field technicians $100,000 a year including overtime as well as $50,000 in benefits. The unions said field technicians make $60,000 to $77,000 a year without overtime and that benefits do not reach $50,000 a year.

especially making this kind of money for (assuming I've found the right position on Verizons site) a job that only requires a 2-year degree or 2 years experience...

RE: HealthCare
By Spuke on 8/8/2011 11:30:50 AM , Rating: 2
Didn't realize they paid that well there.

RE: HealthCare
By Samus on 8/8/2011 1:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
At least their phone plans appear to be priced the way they are for a reason. These employees are unbelievably well paid.

RE: HealthCare
By mcnabney on 8/9/2011 1:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
That's how much they pay in New York.

Good luck living on $60k in that city (and I'm not talking about Manhattan)

RE: HealthCare
By overlandpark4me on 8/11/2011 10:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
Live in Jersey like everyone else

RE: HealthCare
By cjohnson2136 on 8/8/2011 11:34:49 AM , Rating: 3
The unions said field technicians make $60,000 to $77,000 a year

This is still decent money that you could raise a family on.

RE: HealthCare
By bah12 on 8/8/2011 12:17:50 PM , Rating: 3
The union numbers are w/o overtime, where Verizon listed it. So both spin the numbers to help their case of course. Also the Union is doubting the $50K benefits number, but almost certainly don't count employer paid Social Security as a benefit.

Of course the truth is in the middle I'm sure, but doesn't sound like the union has much to complain about here. Even at their numbers, these guys have it pretty good. I love how they don't like that they went from having no limit on sick days to 5, and are complaining. Typical entailment union BS.

RE: HealthCare
By bah12 on 8/8/2011 12:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
edit: "entitlement" BS

RE: HealthCare
By bobsmith1492 on 8/8/2011 12:38:23 PM , Rating: 2
That's 20-50% more than I make as an electrical engineer. Maybe I should downgrade to a technician and upgrade my pay...

RE: HealthCare
By cjohnson2136 on 8/8/2011 1:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing

RE: HealthCare
By ClownPuncher on 8/8/2011 1:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
You're getting screwed, depending on your placement.

RE: HealthCare
By Sazabi19 on 8/8/2011 3:03:13 PM , Rating: 5
You have to realize these are all union workers that are used to getting what they want and being waaaay overpaid for what they do. Even poor workers still get raises? After reading how much these guys are getting and their benefits, they are just spoiled and are crying when they aren't getting as much as they think they should get. Unions were good in the day to make sure workers were treated fair, now they are for getting workers lazy and protecting them from poor perfomance related terminations.

RE: HealthCare
By LBID on 8/8/2011 3:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
Wish I could give you +10 for this. Very, very true.

RE: HealthCare
By someguy123 on 8/8/2011 4:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Unions should only exist as a means of making sure people are physically protected from any possible dangers at work. Otherwise they're just destroying the private sector with outrageous demands that I can only describe as extortion. Employees are human beings the same as executives, and if you give them that much power they will exploit it.

RE: HealthCare
By tayb on 8/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: HealthCare
By DanD85 on 8/9/11, Rating: -1
RE: HealthCare
By JediJeb on 8/9/2011 2:26:39 PM , Rating: 4
I am a chemist, I get paid 40%-60% of what these workers are getting paid depending on which numbers you believe and if I put a family on my insurance it would cost twice as much ($350 per pay check every two weeks). I have always had a limit of 6 sick days and to be honest I think I live pretty well. Unions were good when they worked to protect workers health and ensure safe working conditions, but they have gone overboard with the collective bargaining over wages and benefits. I have seen entire plants go out of business and the loss of jobs to an entire workforce simply because the union would not back down and allow the loss of 5 or 10 jobs out of 200-400. With them it is all or nothing. And even after their entire workforce is put out of work because of their no give stance, the leaders of the unions are still bringing in their six figure salaries and for what, letting the ones they were supposed to protect become unemployed?

By kfonda on 8/8/2011 1:43:50 PM , Rating: 5
Hell, I'll volunteer to cross the picket line and be a scab for that kind of money. With unemployment as high as it is, these people have to be out of their minds to complain about this.

Between myself and my 3 siblings, 2 of us have been laid off and one has had a pay cut, furlough days and a ton more responsibilities added to her job.

These people have no idea what it's like in the real world and between unions and people who think they are entitled to get everything for nothing this country is heading the way of the roman empire.

RE: "Scabs"
By Sazabi19 on 8/8/2011 4:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
Oh they are still getting paid don't worry, they are union :)

RE: "Scabs"
By thurston2 on 8/8/2011 8:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
You deserve to have your guts cut out. It's people like you who drive down wages.

RE: "Scabs"
By kfonda on 8/9/2011 1:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
You deserve to have your guts cut out. It's people like you who drive down wages.

I was going to have my guts cut out but the 'Guts Cutters-?-Us' company went out of business because the cutters decided to unionize and they demanded so much from the owner that the company was no longer profitable.

Then I figured I'd get my health insurance to cover it as 'gastric bypass' but then I got laid off and lost my insurance.

Now I'm just waiting for the Obamacare to kick in because I'm sure gut cutting will be covered. As a matter of fact, it damn well better be covered. Free gut cutting is a Universal Right and those damned Tea Party people are trying to take away everything I'm entitled to.

wait... what were we talking about again. Doesn't matter I have to go print out some pre-made gut cutting protest signs. The bus will be here soon to take me to the protest and protesting is my only source of income these days.

(P.S. - I do actually have Chron's disease and very possibly will have to have part of my intestine removed at some point.)

RE: "Scabs"
By thurston2 on 8/9/2011 4:57:16 PM , Rating: 1
(P.S. - I do actually have Chron's disease and very possibly will have to have part of my intestine removed at some point.)

Karma's a bitch.

RE: "Scabs"
By ssjwes1980 on 8/9/2011 8:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
Man after reading this little exchange I can tell your one f&^% up individual. Plz go put yourself out of our misery...

RE: "Scabs"
By thurston2 on 8/10/2011 12:22:03 AM , Rating: 1
Why should I have any sympathy for someone who is willing to steal another person's job. He doesn't care about the person that he wants to take the job from. The guy is a piece of shit scab.

RE: "Scabs"
By kfonda on 8/10/2011 10:02:17 AM , Rating: 2
How am I stealing his job? How is he entitled to this job? If I'm willing to do the same job for less money then it is up to the company to hire who ever they want. He can go work at McDonald's.

What it comes down to is a company offers a job at a particular salary. If you don't want to do the job for that salary, don't take the job. If the salary is to low no one will take the job and the company will have to modify their offer until they reach a salary a qualified person will accept.

If the Verizon techs are not satisfied with the offer they should go find another job that will pay them what they want. That will leave Verizon to find new techs. If they can't get new techs for what they are willing to pay then they will have to offer more. This is simple supply and demand.

It's people like you that are driving all of the jobs out of this country. Most manufacturing companies simply can not afford to do business in this country when unions require unskilled laborers to be paid ridiculous salaries.

On top of all of this these a-hole Verizon union thugs are blocking access to Verizon stores and making it difficult for customers to do business with the company. If the company can't do business they have less money to pay the employees. These guys do not care about the company or its customers at all. All they care about is their paychecks. If it were my company I would fire every one of them and start over. I would not tolerate employees that would treat my customers the way they do.

RE: "Scabs"
By thurston2 on 8/10/2011 12:22:37 PM , Rating: 1
These are not manufacturing jobs and they are not unskilled labor. They are not blocking Verizon stores because that is illegal. Finally these workers are not asking for anything more they just want to keep what was agreed upon. So sit there laid off with your guts rotting out like I said karma's a bitch piece of shit scab.

Btw I am not a union member nor do I make anywhere near what they make.

RE: "Scabs"
By kfonda on 8/11/2011 2:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about where you are, but here in central NJ the picketers are blocking the entrances the the Verizon stores. I can assure you that the police have been called several times in the last 2 days to have them removed from blocking both the store entrances and the store driveways. Then there is the video floating around the internet of the fine gentleman who put his young daughter in harms way by making here stand in front of a truck to block the 'scabs' from doing their jobs.

Also, I am OK with being called a POS scab. I am more concerned with providing for my family than being called names.

P.S. - why do you feel the need to attack me personally? I've been civil in this discussion since the beginning. you know nothing about who I am or what I do. For instance, you probably did not know that I've been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician with a rescue squad for 30 years.

OK, I'll let you get the last word in with you next comment.

RE: "Scabs"
By thurston2 on 8/11/2011 8:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
I know you don't mind undercutting someone else to take their job, you are the one who labeled yourself a scab. I am normally a very kind and compassionate person but you and your kind disgust me. Like I said these people are not asking for more they are just trying to keep what they have and you are willing to undermine that fight just to better yourself. Do you think the executives are taking pay and benefit cuts? Why should the people who actually do the work be willing to make sacrifices if the executives will not? I know a lot of union members and they are hard working and highly skilled.

RE: "Scabs"
By thurston2 on 8/9/2011 4:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you just get a job at McDonald's and quit crying about getting laid off.

RE: "Scabs"
By room200 on 8/9/2011 11:39:00 AM , Rating: 2
You can disagree with what someone says (and I agree with you that it's horrible that Americans are arguing for driving down middle-class wages), but there's no need for that kind of talk.

RE: "Scabs"
By JediJeb on 8/9/2011 3:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this person isn't the problem but instead the problem lies with people who want to be paid excessive wages for their work simply because they want to live the lifestyle of those "fat cat" company executives they are always criticizing while not putting in the time and effort to advance to such a level in the company.

RE: "Scabs"
By undummy on 8/9/2011 1:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
They were hiring Scabs years ago for this strike now. Too late to get a position now.

But, 411 calls are sent to the Phillipines. You can go there and work for $1 an hour, if you're lucky.

Tech support for Fios and DSL are located in India and Mexico. So, feel free to pack up and move. Unemployment in Mexico is like 5% and their healthcare there is great.

Sales/Customer service are with generic call centers now that are making <$10 an hour. Don't worry, they won't be able to help or even know how to place an order properly.

RE: "Scabs"
By room200 on 8/9/2011 11:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
Between myself and my 3 siblings, 2 of us have been laid off and one has had a pay cut, furlough days and a ton more responsibilities added to her job.

So why do you think this has happened to you?

RE: "Scabs"
By JediJeb on 8/9/2011 3:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe because too many people have the belief they are owed a better life without having to work for it and that has drained the economy so much that everyone else is suffering for it.

RE: "Scabs"
By thurston2 on 8/10/2011 12:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
No, but you're a good little lemming for thinking so.

By Roy2001 on 8/8/2011 1:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
" field technicians make $60,000 to $77,000 ". Seriously, why a technician can make around $70k? why they are still not happy with it?

Let Verizon BK, just like GM, to get rid off unions.

RE: Seriou$**
By cjohnson2136 on 8/8/2011 1:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
And its not like its a field tech with 5-10 years experience. It is someone with a 2 year degree OR 2 years experience. I am finishing my 4 year degree this December and the job at now is just shy of 50k. I would love to be making 10k more.

RE: Seriou$**
By Sazabi19 on 8/8/2011 3:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
I've been a computer tech for 3 years now (no degree just experience) and I wish I made your money... The ONLY good part is that I don't have a family to take care of.

RE: Seriou$**
By cjohnson2136 on 8/8/2011 3:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I am glad it's just me and my wife.

RE: Seriou$**
By cjohnson2136 on 8/8/2011 3:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
And look you have the experience go cross the picket line and take a job from them lol

RE: Seriou$**
By dean.smits on 8/8/2011 5:05:10 PM , Rating: 1
Oh, but it is. I just talked to one of these linemen. He has been doing this for over 10 years, makes ~$57,000 a year, which ain't bad. I don't know how much he pays for insurance, but you know it ain't free. They want to reduce his salary to what it was 5 years ago. He has wife and kids, can't do that!

And if you think his job is easy, its not. He's climbing those tall poles and working among strong electrical current. Its a highly dangerous job that takes a lot of training and a dedicated worker.

Meanwhile, the CEO earns 2.1 million in 2009, 3 million performance bonus, $11 million in stock & options, and $880,000 in compensations (like money to cover taxes associated with travel and life insurance, money to use the company jet, etc.)

And the unions didn't just walk away from the table. They were practically pushed away. This is coming from the horses mouth.

RE: Seriou$**
By VahnTitrio on 8/9/2011 10:26:25 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I don't make that much with a 4 year degree. And currently. Unlimited sick days is just sickening. I know health varies from person to person but I've only taken 5 sick days total since June of 2005.

RE: Seriou$**
By tamalero on 8/8/2011 3:24:29 PM , Rating: 1
Its amazing the entitlement of some people here, always blaming Unions and claiming other's salaries are way too high.
Its a severe case of envy and how the epic brainwashing of newsmedia outtlets make middle class fight middle class, instead of protecting themselves from the battering of the richest bastards.

RE: Seriou$**
By weskurtz0081 on 8/8/2011 3:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think it really just boils down to people being tired of unions in general, and they deserve most of the heat they get. The whole fiasco with Boeing trying to build a plant in SC is a prime example.

RE: Seriou$**
By Sazabi19 on 8/8/2011 4:03:40 PM , Rating: 3
LOL, "the battering of the richest bastards."? Really? Most (note, I said most) rich people have done something in their lives to get where they are today, even if they are the child of a rich person (or any other family member) and they pay out their asses in taxes for what they have, a much higher percentage than you do. It's not so much "envy" or even "fair" as it is to hear someone being overpaid pissing and moaning about what they have that a lot of others would be more than happy with. You sound very confused and angry yourself.

RE: Seriou$**
By gixser on 8/8/2011 5:24:03 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, many children of the rich do indeed "do something to get where they are today". Like attend the best schools, see the best Dr's, have the nutrition they need, the shelter, the support and other resources to "do something". e.g. They aren't burdened with crippling student loans. Most of all, they never, for a moment, doubt their ability to achieve. Of course, its still a competitive environment but at least they make it to the start line with every tool at their disposal. The great myth in America is that it is an even playing field. If you think it is an even playing field then you are (a) deluded or (b) playing with a homefield advantage.

Having said that...I have busted my ass to make some money and I would be pissed if my progeny didn't benefit from my work after my death.

I think the following is apropo.

Effective Tax Rate of Richest 400 Americans:

Some graphs re wealth inequality that may or may not be accurate:

Warren Buffet on Taxes and the Inheritance Tax (From Wikipedia)


Buffett stated that he only paid 19% of his income for 2006 ($48.1 million) in total federal taxes (due to their being from dividends & capital gains), while his employees paid 33% of theirs, despite making much less money.[130] “How can this be fair?” Buffet asked, regarding how little he pays in taxes compared to his employees. “How can this be right?” He also added:
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”[131][132]

Buffett favors the inheritance tax, saying that repealing it would be like "choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics".[133] In 2007, Buffett testified before the Senate and urged them to preserve the estate tax so as to avoid a plutocracy.[134]

Some critics have argued that Buffett (through Berkshire Hathaway) has a personal interest in the continuation of the estate tax, since Berkshire Hathaway has benefited from the estate tax in past business dealings and had developed and marketed insurance policies to protect policy holders against future estate tax payments.[135]

RE: Seriou$**
By Nfarce on 8/8/2011 6:53:38 PM , Rating: 1
Buffet is well known for loving to pay more taxes. Let him do it! The top 10% of income earners paid 70% of all income taxes last year. The bottom 50% paid 0% after tax incentives and refunds like the EIC.

Finally, anyone who believes in the Marxist inheritance tax is definitely someone who doesn't believe in the freedoms America has to offer. If you don't think you are paying enough taxes, then by all means, pay more. Or donate the rest of your money. I see Warren Buffet still has plenty of his.

RE: Seriou$**
By KITH on 8/9/2011 3:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
Who ever said it was an even playing field? I think the idea is that everyone gets to play.

RE: Seriou$**
By Nfarce on 8/8/2011 6:49:50 PM , Rating: 1
Most (note, I said most) rich people have done something in their lives to get where they are today, even if they are the child of a rich person

Exactly! It's just more class warfare propagated by those who do not understand who the job creators and investors are and who the moochers are.

For example, I have an uncle that never went to college. He learned a trade from his father, my grandfather. He went out at 25 and started his own company after years of hard labor and job experience. Some 25 years later he and his son - armed with an MBA - sold the company for millions. That company now employees thousands around the nation and is traded publicly on the NYSE.

But people like my uncle are the EXACT target that class-warfare demented groups believe "stole" from someone else. It's really disgusting actually, and I'd be curious to know where this mindless mentality originates. My guess is government public run education.

RE: Seriou$**
By room200 on 8/9/2011 9:23:59 AM , Rating: 3
It's really interesting how the wealthy have gotten regular people to argue for the destruction of the middle class and the outsourcing of American jobs. You can't even bring yourself to use the terms rich or wealthy. Instead, you use bogus terms like "job creators". It's the middle class who creates the jobs through demand. If you have no demand, you have no jobs.

We keep hearing this lie that if you give the rich more they simply create more jobs. Right now, companies are the most profitable than they have ever been, and yet the unemployment rate is at its worst. Further, we keep hearing the lie that if you just keep cutting taxes, more jobs will be created. Corporations pay the lowest tax rates than they've ever paid. In the early 60's, they paid more than 40%, nows they pay on avderage around 21%. Yet, the middle class continues to shrink. This whole FAA thing is a case study. The federal government stopped collecting the 10% tax on airline tickets, so it would make sense that the price of the ticket would drop by 10%; it did not. Instead, the airlines (except 2 of them), jacked up the price by 10%, and pocketed it. Furthermore, there's no indication they will reduce the price of the ticket now that the FAA is again collecting that 10%.

In this day, your uncle would likely not have been able to start a business and grow it. Don't act like he started that business with no help. He, more than likely, got loans to start that business.

RE: Seriou$**
By room200 on 8/8/2011 7:00:55 PM , Rating: 3
Are you going to do the work many of them do? I certainly would never work around highly-powered electrical lines, or risk my lif scaling poles/buildings.

RE: Seriou$**
By undummy on 8/9/2011 1:28:58 AM , Rating: 3

Getting electrocuted or killed working for Verizon is nothing new. Just like the National Grid and electric co employees, high rates of cancers is expected.

Like UPS workers, knee/back/shoulder repairs are common. Lets see home many times anyone can climb a ladder, crawl in an attic or crawlspace.... before some body part needs orthopedic repair.

RE: Seriou$**
By JediJeb on 8/9/2011 2:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
Are you going to do the work many of them do? I certainly would never work around highly-powered electrical lines, or risk my lif scaling poles/buildings.

That is called personal choice. There are many who would do that job and probably for even less money, but most unions lock up those jobs and if someone comes along willing to do it for less they are not allowed to. Who knows if the unions were not there, maybe Verizon could pay 20% less in wages and hire 10% more workers so that everyone could work less hours and have more free time. There have been many times I would have liked to not have to work 12 hours a day for 6 or 7 days a week, even to the point of giving up a raise for a couple years just to let the company hire more workers. I would have much preferred having the time off than the overtime money so that would have been like taking a pay cut just to have more people to share the work.

Unions controlling the workplace is much like having a car dealership that wants to make 100% profit on a certain model and forcing all other dealerships to charge the same high price even though some would be happy to sell that car to you for only a 50% markup or 10% markup, but because the dealership charging 100% markup is given control from the government they are allowed to set the price for everyone.

sell your soul for a paycheck
By undummy on 8/9/2011 1:11:46 AM , Rating: 3
The technicians, indoor and outdoor, work every imaginable shift and forced to work too much overtime. Getting sick or injured is part of the job, and the company wants to yank healthcare benefits. Holidays/nights/weekends also are required. Cancelled vacations is common.

You definitely can raise a family on Verizon's payroll, but you'll never see them.

So, before any off you complain, go work for them 1st.

Try spending 12hrs on a pole during a heatwave, blizzard, or hurricane, just so that some spoiled brat kids can surf the web or talk on the phone. We'll see how long you last. How many times in a week do you ask your spouse to bring you a change of clothes 'caused you're soaked to the skin?

Spouses tend to be "telecom widows".

I'm surprised that Verizon hasn't posted the new hire quitting rate, which has been through the roof in the past 10 years. Those outdoor techs are hardcore.

My neighbor has been shot at while up on a pole, because he was disconnecting some non-payers in the ghetto.

I did a 5 year sentence as a tech and as management for Verizon. The day that I quit was like being born again. In my class of 20, I was the longest lasting greenie. 19 didn't make it the 1st year.

I'm a company man all the way. And, I don't care for the union. But, those guys sold their soul for this company.

Verizon's quality is ruined by excess contractors, and low paid non-union poorly skilled/trained disposable wanna-be's. I know 'cause I hired several(massive contractor hiring in the past few years preparing for this strike). Every time you call or have a service issue, I can almost guarantee that a contractor was involved, and the repair was a well trained union tech, who understands how 5 generations of technology mix together. Its a cluster-uck at Verizon CO's, hubs, poles...

If the Union is broken, I will be quick to sell my stock. They'll become another joke, akin to TimeWarner or Comcast, with a future of nothing but non-stop outages and quality issues.

The last strike lasted 18 days before the management and contractors couldn't keep it all together. We'll see how long this one goes for.

RE: sell your soul for a paycheck
By Dr of crap on 8/9/2011 2:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
But they didn't have to work there, did they?

Find somewhere else to work.

I'm searching right now, but will NOT apply at any place I know has unions!

Like I'm going to strike, and not work, and not get a check because of a few dollars pay dispute or maybe some healthcare changes. Here's a clue it happens to everyone. And Yes I've had 3 out of the last 5 years with healthcare changes and it's all part of working for a company.

If you don't like it where you're at, look for something better!

RE: sell your soul for a paycheck
By undummy on 8/9/2011 6:34:45 PM , Rating: 2

I did.

But, those that didn't, have the right to strike. Your comments are useless toward the anti-union debate.

So, you'll purposely stay unemployed vs taking a union job? You aspirations are pretty pathetic. Does that mean that you'd rather sit on welfare, unemployment, food stamps, subsidized housing... over a union job? That's the problem with this country.

This isn't just about healthcare and a few dollars pay. This is about maintaining the equipment, shifts, employee count, safety... etc. How many 80hr weeks have you worked consecutively because of normal employee shrinkage/attrition and the retirees weren't being replaced?

My record is 9 months WITHOUT A DAY OFF. Even though I'm required to have days off, if I did, I'd get a poor review.

If you want that job, TAKE IT. Its not worth $100 an hr for what they want to make the employee do.

9 out of 10 people are NOT smart enough to work there. So, anyone saying its a low-skilled job is a fool. Stick with your burger flipping.

By kwilliford on 8/8/2011 5:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
I can not believe what I am reading in these comments. Is the mentality of Americans so distorted now that we want the jobs that pay more and have good benefits to disappear completely. The dollar is worth less everyday, yet you think we should settle for low pay, worthless benefits, and no pension plan jobs. We should be fighting for more jobs like these.

RE: HealthCare
By JediJeb on 8/9/2011 6:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think we want these jobs to disappear, but when the unions continually return to the companies and demand more and more money and benefits it just causes that companies products to become more expensive. The biggest expense of any company is payroll. If autoworkers get more money then the cost of a car will increase. For prosperity we want more people to be able to afford a car, so we try to raise the salary of everyone else. Ok that helps them afford a car, but it increases the cost of everything else that they produce, which makes what an autoworker earns worth less so they want another raise. Many call this a growing economy, but it is a continuous spiral that is always feeding upon itself and never ends. In the end an autoworker or telecommunications worker can be making a million dollars a year salary, but by then a loaf of bread will cost $100 so what have they really gained in the end?

Also for those who have no job, what these people are earning seems like a fortune. You say we should be fighting for more jobs like this, but where will the money come from to support those jobs?

For the record though I have been working as a chemist for 20 years and have a BS degree and two years graduate studies and I don't make what the Verizon workers are making, yet I do live comfortably. The US is no longer a quiet humble society, it has become to some extent a society of excesses and instant gratification that must be fueled by ever increasing salaries and debts and eventually (probably sooner than we wish) it will crash and burn if we don't slow down a little bit and act responsibly.

RE: HealthCare
By undummy on 8/9/2011 7:42:03 PM , Rating: 2

Don't worry. If Verizon breaks the Union, YOUR FIOS, DSL, wireless, or phone BIL will NOT GET CHEAPER.

They are a very efficient company. They already have surplus money and profit, because of that efficiency and volume from their customer base.

The union is not demanding more and more. They just want what is already there, and to have the retired/fired/died/quitters REPLACED in a timely manner so that the employees don't have to be overworked. You are seriously misinformed.

And I want it all .....
By Dr of crap on 8/8/2011 11:50:20 AM , Rating: 5
What is with these union people that want it all?
DO they know what the real world lives in?

I have 6 sick days and pay over $250 from each paycheck for healthcare coverage for my family of four.

There was a airline union a few months ago that was asking for reduced healthcare too. I think they wanted something like no pay health coverage!!?? Guess what - healthcare is the sinlge most expensive check deduction and it will only go UP!
Asking for reducing this is asking for less pay because there is no way a company can succeed with those demands, even if it is raking in the dough!

I don't know who to side with...
By tayb on 8/8/2011 7:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
On one hand we have Verizon who is clearly banking and just announced the worst and most expensive data plan / data caps in the cell phone industry. It's hard to believe they need to make these cuts for any reason but to profit more.

On the other hand we have these workers who are making PLENTY of money for the low skill work that they do. They are also receiving some pretty great benefits considering what they do for a living.

I'm not sure who to side with here... both seem greedy and out of touch with reality.

By thurston2 on 8/8/2011 10:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
On the other hand we have these workers who are making PLENTY of money for the low skill work that they do. They are also receiving some pretty great benefits considering what they do for a living.

Do you really consider these people low skill workers? The IBEW's apprenticeship program is 5 years. They attend evening classes twice a week and work under the supervision of a journeyman. You must not know many electricians, pipe-fitters or other tradespeople if you did you would know that these jobs require quite a bit of skill.

By thurston2 on 8/8/2011 10:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it that so many people seem to be upset with what the technician's salaries are but have no problem with what the executives make? I wonder how much is taken from an executive's paycheck to cover healthcare?

By undummy on 8/9/2011 7:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
Remember this in a few years when the lower paid or contract employees show up at your door for your internet, TV, satellite, cable, gas, phone, electric, utility, appliance.....servicing and installations....

wheres the bathroom
By undummy on 8/10/2011 10:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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