Today, Verizon Wireless workers and elected leaders including New York State Senator Julia Salazar and New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou rallied outside the Verizon Wireless store on Wall Street to protest and deliver a 15,000-signature petition calling on Verizon to address issues of racism reported by workers around the country. Workers in different regions who have experienced racial discrimination from managers and customers were joined in solidarity by Brooklyn-based Verizon Wireless workers.
Verizon Wireless workers rallied outside the Verizon Wireless store on Wall Street.
"Racism was rampant at the Verizon Wireless store where I worked, and the company is complicit because management's indifference allowed it to continue," said Martin Hopkins, a former Verizon Wireless employee who is filing an EEOC complaint over being terminated after enduring years of racist treatment by customers and management at a retail store in Lancaster, Ohio. "Verizon Wireless executives need to take responsibility and make it clear they will not tolerate toxic work environments where racial discrimination can thrive."
A growing number of Verizon employees around the country are coming forward with experiences of racial discrimination at Verizon Wireless stores and call centers, with recent allegations and EEOC complaints at a call center in Irving, Texas, and a retail location in Columbus, Ga.
"Verizon Wireless executives should be ashamed for their failure to condemn racist acts by management," said Jennifer Womack, a Verizon call center worker who has spoken out about racial discrimination and retaliation at her center in Irving. "At my call center specifically, the company needs to do more to protect workers from retaliation. Management violates our rights by trying to prevent us from organizing and making our voices heard, through anti-union meetings and surveillance. The workers who help make Verizon Wireless successful as a company deserve more respect."
"Verizon Wireless workers around the country, including here in New York, stand with Martin and Jennifer and every other Verizon employee who has experienced racism at the company and seen nothing done about it," said Monique Murphy, a Brooklyn-based VZW store employee. "We are fortunate at my store because we have a union, which helps empower us to stand up and address issues in the workplace. If Verizon took these issues of racial discrimination seriously, then they would listen to workers who are brave enough to speak out."
Verizon Wireless workers and elected leaders rallied outside the Verizon Wireless store on Wall Street to protest and deliver a 15,000-signature petition calling on Verizon to address issues of racism reported by workers around the country.