VERIZON NEGOTIATIONS OPENING STATEMENT
Description: The following is a statement by Chris Shelton, Assistant to the Vice President of CWA District 1
We are here today to start negotiations on a successor agreement between the Communications Workers of America, District 1 and Verizon Communications. We all know that these two parties have had contentious negotiations in the past usually resulting in lengthy work stoppages which had serious consequences on both the Union and the Company. In early December of last year, we met at a bargaining table and the Company came to the table with an insulting proposal, which the Union answered in kind. Hopefully, we have both learned that trying to insult the other party in nogotiations only serves to destroy the negotiations.
If Verizon is shortsighted enough to one again approach serious negotiations with proposals meant to insult the members of CWA, we can only surmise that the company believes it can survive a long a devastating strike.
In December, the Union warned that if Verizon attacked us by laying of thousands of CWA members solely to line the pockets of a few at the top, there would be dire consequences. The Union predicted then that one of those dire consequences would surely be a precipitous decline in service quality and a corresponding loss of customers because of it. Here we sit in August and history has proven the Union correct. The New York State Public Service Commission as well as the New York State Assembly Committee which oversees it, have stated taht service quality is in serious decline and have taken steps to reverse that decline.
It is time to Verizon to come to its senses and make CWA and its members true partners to combat both service quality and loss of customers. CWA understands that Verizon customers and the service that is provided to them sercures our jobs. We understand that Verizon cannot service those customers in its present understaffed state.
CWA believes that Verizon has decided not only to abandon its employees, our members, but also had abandoned its customers and ultimately its stockholders.
The Union cannot and will not allow Verizon to destroy its own business because that business provides our members livelihood. If Verizon will not protect its customers and thereby our members, we will. As I said when I began, we are here to negotiate a successor agreement and to that end the Union will be presenting reasonable, responsible proposals. We will negotiate in good faith, and if we reach an agreement, we at least will abide by it. In August of 2000, the Union agreed with Verizon and some of its subsidiaries to various Collecting Bargaining Agreements, but some of those companies have used every legal as well as illegal trick in the book to violate it before the ink was even dry.
You should understand that will will not happen again. If the bad faith continues, we will never reach an agreement.
You, or rather the Company, who do not come from here, should be aware that District One is good a fighting, and we are not afraid to fight. In short, those management people who are new to the New York area, should be warned as was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you are not in Kansas anymore and it will do you well to remember it.
nice try jusbs, the fBA and fNYNEX have the best as in BEST benefits anywhere in VZ with the exception of Ivans and Larry's package.
Were not trying to catch up with anyone other than them. BTW We've had vision coverage since '77.
We pay for our benefits through our labor every day, not through payrol deduction!
Evert Sept. us NE landline CWA employees get a package of 8 or so different health plans we can chose from, not including the dental and vision we also have.
Oh and BTW.....we pay no percentage of it.
Enjoy your "Cadillac" plan now.
VZ's landline business accounts for over 60% of total revenue. The landline business has been a cash cow for over 50 years. The wireless sector is becoming saturated & pricing has come down due to competetion. Wireless, isn't all wireless, there's much in the way of trunking & switching. You can look at it any way that makes you feel better though.
So Wireless workers who get paid less have non union workers have to pay for the benefits and their in the section of telcom that is "growing". Again if Ivan can get paid 20+ plus without generating revnue VZ should pay in full for the benefits of those who do.
I would venture to guess that the only reason VZW workers receive decent benefits at this time is because the CWA is close to organizing them. IF, the CWA backs off from this demand, and this threat to organize cannot be had, the pressure will be off VZ management to provide those good benefits to VZW workers. Just the threat of a union shop is benefiting the VZW workers. If the threat is ever gone, so are those non-union benefits. VZW workers should understand this & in light of yesterdays decision, they should request union membership & not give up to vz management anti union tactics. Once the VZW are organized, management can no longer treat its employees any which way IT seems fit.
"ask the VZ wireless workers what benefits they get, not nearly as good"
Nice try, but not true. Non union Verizon Wireless workers enjoy the best open access benefit package around. CWA has been trying to catch up around the country and add things to their contracts, like vision coverage, that wireless employees have had for three years now. Wireless workers do pay a small percentage of the costs for their cadillac plan, but costs have been held in check and nobody is complaining. Even unions acknowledge that the days of free benefits are going away.
That is how I feel. John Chambers from Cisco hasen't taken a paycheck since he laid off workers. These morons can take bonuses from pension funds that they included as revenue so they can get large bonuses. Then they tell me I have to pay, top down first buddy.
ask the VZ wireless workers what benefits they get, not nearly as good, And as long as Ivan's pay package is 20+ million a year, when he does nothing to generate a dime in revenu they can pay for my benefits with out taking from my paycheck