‘The Shirts Off Our Backs’: Verizon Workers in Utica, Oneonta to Rally in Support of Strike

by Derek Scarlino/Love and Rage

For the last three weeks, nearly 40,000 Verizon Wireless workers from Massachusetts to Virginia have been on strike due to unresolved disputes in their contracts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Verizon strike, led by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electical Workers (IBEW) unions, has become the largest work stoppage in the country since 2011.

The struggle of Verizon’s workers is now coming home with two simultaneous rallies planned for Thursday, April 28 in New Hartford and Oneonta. The rallies are to be held in solidarity with the wider strike.

Below is a run-down of the workers’ grievances from the local CWA 1126 website:

Offshoring and contracting out even more customer service work to Mexico, the Philippines and other locations.

Cutting job security for all workers.

Requiring technicians to work away from home for as long as two months, without seeing their families. For anyone trying to balance work and family life, this is impossible.

Refusing to negotiate improvements to wages, benefits and working conditions for Verizon Wireless workers, who formed a union with CWA in 2014.

Freezing pensions at 30 years of service and forcing retirees to pay extremely high health care costs.

Slashing benefits for workers injured on the job.

The rally in New Hartford will be held outside of the Verizon Store at 8500 Seneca Turnpike, while workers and supporters in Oneonta will rally outside of the store located at 762 NY-28. Both rallies will begin at 2 p.m. and conclude around 3 p.m.


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