Scores of NYSUT staffers marched in solidarity Friday with striking Verizon workers outside a Route 7 Verizon store in Latham.
The action was part of a statewide day of solidarity for union brothers and sisters represented by Communications Workers of America District 1 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2222. The East Coast Verizon workers struck Wednesday after months of fruitless bargaining and being without a contract since August. Verizon proposes slashing health care, and job and retirement security, despite posting $18 billion in profits over the last 18 months, and paying $249 million in executive pay over the last five years.
“Job security is one of our main issues,” said CWA Local 1118 President Gil Carey, who was one of more-than 200 pickets outside the Latham store. “Verizon wants to transfer, at-will, employees in locales such as Albany, Syracuse and Binghamton, where their lives are based, to New York City. And they’re telling us, take it or leave it.”
The company also wants to outsource local jobs, a move that would shrink the workforce from 1000 to 300 employees and impact customer service, he explained.
“We really appreciate everyone coming out to help,” said Carey.
Staffers walked picket lines at dozens of Verizon sites statewide, following a call for a day of solidarity from NYSUT President Karen E. Magee.
“NYSUT and the 2.4 million-member NYS AFL-CIO are mobilizing to stand up for our sisters and brothers by joining picket lines and protests across the state,” said Magee, who called Verizon’s stance “unfair to their workers, and to our sisters and brothers in labor.”