Verizon, America's largest phone and internet provider, is under fire. Over 45,000 of its technicians and call center workers have walked out of their jobs asking for better working conditions. As one of the country's largest monopolists, Verizon already has a infamous reputation among customers for being dishonest and greedy. Hidden monthly feels, hefty contract cancelation penalties, fake "unlimited" data plans and exuberant roaming rates - the list of grievances against Verizon is getting longer and longer from a consumer's perspective. Now it appears as if the telecommunication giant isn't nice an fluffy on the inside either
Just to make things clear: it's not the workers from the Verizon Wireless division that are going on strike. Few people may know this, but Verizon Wireless is a 50/50 joint-venture between Vodafone and Verizon Communications. In contrast to the rest of the company, their workers are not unionized and therefore do not have the ability to go on strike. As some of the figures released by the Communication Workers of America (of which Verizon technicians and call center workers are member) show, Verizon has failed to redistribute their record profit margins equally among its workers. Whereas Verizon's top five executives earned a whopping $250 million in bonuses and other forms of compensation, the average technician and call center worker earns somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 a year. As of late, Verizon executives have been trying to forced its unionized workers to pay upwards of $3,000 for health care premiums, cut retirement benefits and reduce sick days.
It is unlikely that both sides will come to an agreement anytime. Things have gotten so out of hand, in fact, that several workers have been accused of cutting fiber-optic lines and stealing Verizon equipment in protest. On the other side of the barricades, a striker has allegedly been grazed by a manager's car driving by as that person was picketing Verizon headquarters.
Although customers should not notice the effects of the strike just yet, the situation is rapidly spiraling out of control.
Source: NY Times
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