By the time you hear this, nearly 40,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia may have gone on strike. The members of CWA and IBEW were preparing yesterday to walk at 6 am this morning if a fair agreement could not be reached. The workers say they’re fed up with Verizon’s demands to gut job security protections, contract out more work, freeze pensions, and close call centers, sending the jobs to Mexico and the Philippines. And while the telecom giant says it can't afford a fair contract, Verizon has paid its top five executives $233 million over the last five years. "It’s time for Verizon to acknowledge that working families also have a right to do well in America," said CWA Local 2108 president Marilyn Irwin. "It’s time for a contract that’s fair to Verizon’s working people and the customers we serve."
Get the latest news on the negotiations and strike by texting Fight to 69866.
On today’s labor calendar, Verizon workers plan to rally at 11a today in Silver Spring, and then at 6pm there’s a SaveMyStore Town Hall in Accokeek, Virginia, hosted by Giant workers.
For the latest updates, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1930, a 17-year-old Jimmy Hoffa led his co-workers at a Kroger warehouse in Clinton, Indiana, in a successful job action. By refusing to unload a shipment of perishable strawberries, they forced the company to give in to their demands. Among other things: the “strawberry boys” had to report to work at 4:30 a.m., stay on the job for 12 hours, and were paid 32¢ an hour—only if growers arrived with berries to unload. Plus, they were required to spend most of their earnings buying goods from Kroger.
In 1919, labor leader and Socialist Party founder Eugene V. Debs was imprisoned for opposing American entry into World War I. While in jail he ran for president, receiving 1 million votes.
Today’s labor quote is by Eugene Debs
“Wherever capitalism appears, in pursuit of its mission of exploitation, there will Socialism, fertilized by misery, watered by tears, and vitalized by agitation be also found, unfurling its class-struggle banner and proclaiming its mission of emancipation.”
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