Verizon Workers to Walk from Occupy Albany to Zuccotti Park in Fight against Corporate Greed
Verizon Profit Doubles While Company Execs Ask for Major Takeaways from Rank-and-File Workers
March to Culminate in Massive #Occupy Day of Action on November 17th
New York – Verizon workers, members of the Communications Workers of America, will walk more than 150 miles over 8 days from Occupy Albany to Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, home to Occupy Wall Street, to highlight Verizon and Verizon Wireless’s greedy attempt to slash hundreds of millions in benefits for workers across the Northeast while the company’s profits soar. The marchers will reach New York City on November 17th – a day of nationwide actions against corporate greed.
“Verizon and Verizon Wireless workers are the 99%, and we are joining the Occupy Wall Street movement’s campaign to focus the world’s attention on the destructive power of corporate greed,” said Chris Shelton, District One Vice President of the Communications Workers of America. “Everywhere you look in America, corporations are squeezing the middle-class in an endless race to the bottom of low wages and benefits. If Verizon can roll back fifty years of gains by their workers while they make billions in profits, then no one’s standard of living is safe. These marchers will demand that the American economy start to work for the 99% again, not just the Verizon top 1%.”
About a dozen workers will march the entire route, and will be joined by several Occupy protestors from Albany and New York. Along the way, there will be rallies at Verizon and near Verizon Wireless facilities. Workers at Verizon are fighting back against attempts to eliminate pensions, offshore and outsource union jobs, cut benefits for injured workers, eliminate job security, and force both active and retired workers to pay thousands of dollars more for their health care. Verizon Wireless workers are fighting for fair pay, retirement security, and an end to unilateral changes in healthcare benefits.
Verizon, which is the majority owner of Verizon Wireless, is the 16th largest corporation in America, with one of the nation’s largest unionized workforces. In the past four and a half years, Verizon made $22.5 billion in profits and paid its top five executives $258 million—which puts them in the top 1/10 of 1%--and still managed to collect a $1.3 billion federal corporate income tax rebate over the last two years. Yet it wants to eliminate pensions, force workers to pay thousands of dollars more for health care, slash sick time and eliminate job security for workers at Verizon Communications. At Verizon Wireless it has eroded healthcare benefits and refuses to provide decent benefits for retirees. The company's bargaining stance is that no working person is entitled to decent wages with health care and retirement security, no matter how profitable the employer.
The march schedule is available at cwa-union.org/verizonmarch
Contact: Dan Levitan, (646) 200-5315