The following is a statement by the Communications Workers of America:
More than 45,000 workers are on strike today at Verizon Communications. Bargaining continues. Since bargaining began on June 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands. As the contract expired, nearly 100 concessionary company proposals remained on the table.
As a result, CWA and IBEW have decided to take the unprecedented step of striking until Verizon stops its Wisconsin-style tactics and starts bargaining seriously.
Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families.
CWA and IBEW members are prepared to return to work when management demonstrates the willingness to begin bargaining seriously for a fair agreement. If not, CWA and IBEW members and allies will continue the fight.
* 2011 annualized revenues are $108 billion and annualized net profits are $6 billion.
* Verizon Wireless just paid its parent company and Vodaphone a $10 billion dividend.
* Verizon’s top five executives received compensation of $258 million over the past four years.
The contract covers 45,000 members of CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers from New England to Virginia.