Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Am A Union Mom


My son, a member of the Communication Workers of America  along with his brothers and sisters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers went on strike at midnight this past Sunday. Verizon is asking for huge concessions from over 45,000 union workers by misrepresenting the decline of landline business and dismissing the contribution these workers have made to building the company and to keeping it going. They compare themselves to non-union providers who pop up and disappear on a daily basis and claim they need workers to give back so they can remain competitive.

Verizon has posted close to 20 billion dollars of profit over the past few years. One of their executives earns $49,000 a day. A day. Many workers don't make that in a year yet they are being asked to pay for their healthcare coverage. For an average family that coverage could cost $1200 a month. A win for Verizon and a win for a giant health care corporation - screw the workers.

Salary concessions could bring pay scales back to 1960s rates. This while the CEO earns $18 million a year excluding his perks and bonuses.

The attack on working people in this country goes on. I have heard many people say that the unions should simply be happy to have jobs in this economy and that they are selfish for striking.

Yet again this country gets angry with the wrong people. We blame immigrants and tenants and workers while putting up with the greed and corruption of corporations and Congress and the small percentage of our population that controls the vast majority of wealth and power.

As the banner at the CWA website says ...

If You're Not Angry, You're Not Paying Attention

May I add - get angry at the real villains not the ones that are easy to blame.


My niece captured this off the screen when NY1 News was airing the picketing at Verizon HQ
That's my son in the middle


At the Verizon store on Canal Street
My son is wearing the red cap at the front of the group


Later that day at the same store. Barricades were put up to keep the picket line away from the store. They may not be able to see them but they can still hear them.

More soon ...

22 comments:

IWS Radio said...

War has clearly been declared not just on union workers, but all middle class people. And the corporations and the republican party have enlisted the Tea Party to help them fight that battle.

Jay

nitebyrd said...

If they expect the workers to make concessions then the entire company needs to make them as well. We're becoming a country of have/have not - no inbetween. Unfortunatly the haves sit back and do nothing while the rest of us are busting our butts just to get by.

Good thoughts for a swift and fair resolution to the strike.

Jay Simser said...

People do not understand just how important the Union is to the worker. As a Teacher's Association (Union) Member for 45 years I have seen the results. Now the right is attacking the Unions by lying about them and hoping to make them ineffective and powerless. Tell your son to hang in there. We all stand together!

Betty said...

Good for your son! People are suffering and angry, but those same people are the ones who elected our representatives. I guess it's true that we get the government we deserve. Unfortunately.

Mike said...

I've been on both sides of this fight during my SBC days. Even when I was management I always routed for the union because first level managers pay was always based on top craft pay.

Ron said...

Bravo to your son!

And I must agree with Nitebyrd...

"If they expect the workers to make concessions then the entire company needs to make them as well."

EXACTLY! And paaaleeese, Verizon is like one of THE most wealthy companies out there!

Great photos of your son and his fellow strikers!

X

DJan said...

Is there anything I can do to help? I am now retired and have never needed to belong to a union, but if I were working today, you BET I would.

If there were ever a well off company, it's Verizon. All corporations seems to care only about profits, no longer about their employees...

Jeni said...

Keep telling it like it is, Dianne! People forget what things would be like if there were no unions, and how terrible it would be if there had never been any unions!!! What protections the worker -yes, even the non-union worker -has today (and no, there aren't all that many of them though) are in place because someone walked a picket line probably anywhere from 80 to well over 100 years ago to get the bare minimum in benefits to the union -AND the non-union worker -as well. Health and safety regs that affect ALL workers -bought on the backs of people who had no union but organized and fought and many of 'em died as a result of those fights too. Never, no never, ever, forget the tremendous debt we all owe the union force in our country!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It is dispicable(spelling--OY). The GREED factor is beyond the beyond, on the part of these company's and corporations...I belong to three Unions and I know how "Management" works. And it shameful! Every inch of a gain is won by hard hard negotiations---and they WILL take away your Benifits, IF THEY CAN!
Bless your son and all his compadre's....!
You always say everything so wonderfully Dianne---succunct and to the point and right at the heart of the matter...I feel like you speak for me, too, my dear, and I Thank You!

Linda Reeder said...

I wish the best for your son and his fellow union members. going on strike is no easy thing, and in the end there are usually no winners. But sometimes it is necessary to take a stand.
As a public school teacher I was a union member, and I support unions. It was due to unions that we saw the rise of the middle class in this country. Much of our financial woe right now is due to the fact that our large, middle class consumer base is shrinking and can't afford to buy much anymore.
Those CEO's won't be making that income if no one can afford their goods and services.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Kay L. Davies said...

As a pensioner member of the CWA, I would like to wish your son well.
Solidarity forever!
Don't blame the unions, blame the rich people who own the companies.
-- K

Au and Target said...

Interesting. We're so used to corruption that it doesn't even shock.

Jacob said...

Verizon is another one of our many criminal companies that will stop at nothing to increase their bottom line!

The union movement was instrumental in creating the middle-class in this country which has always drive the plutocrats nuts! I made it through graduate school because a union job ensured I made enough money to care for my family!

Nice to hear from you again. I know what you mean about life - I can't begin to keep up with all that I would like to do!

Best wishes!

ellen abbott said...

It makes me sick what is going on in this country.

Daryl said...

We heard them LOUD and CLEAR here in Times Square yesterday as they marched toward/around the Verizon offices on Sixth Avenue... I couldnt agree more with your statement: "...greed and corruption of corporations and Congress and the small percentage of our population that controls the vast majority of wealth and power."

I am fed up with the way this country is being ruined by the asses in Congress who seem to think they represent us ..

Oh and I think the picketers are back! I can hear them again.. GO UNION!

Akelamalu said...

At least it was a peaceful protest unlike what's going on here. I wish your son and his colleagues success.

Mama Zen said...

I couldn't agree with you more!

Linda said...

Maybe we need to start dumping tea in Boston Harbor and start over again? Minus all of the Tea Party people of course! Maybe we could dump them in first??

Grayquill said...

Good Post - Good luck to your son

jabblog said...

Sounds like a fair demonstration. Too many 'top' people getting rewarded for too little real involvement.

CrystalChick said...

I'm with you, your son, and all the workers! I am a Union Wife! My husband is a member of IUPAT and so is my son-in-law and a few friends. None of us are doing all that great financially, we're just average working families doing the best we can.

Sparkling Red said...

Yikes. The rich get richer and the poor struggle more. This is the inevitable consequence of out-of-control capitalism. The businesspeople do everything in their power to funnel all the wealth into their own pockets and don't give a damn about anyone else. It's absolutely dreadful.