Verizon’s Windfall Profits Should be Their Employees Gain as Well


    For a company that posted revenue of $107.8 billion in 2009, Verizon appears determined to increase their profit margins even further at the expense of its middle and working class employees stretching from Massachusetts and Virginia.

    In Virginia, thousands of Verizon employees are set to strike beginning August 7, the day their contract with Verizon expires. The Verizon unions that will be striking consist of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).  

    Unions, you may say though, have become an antiquated institution, doing little more than dragging down the earnings of prosperous and not-so-prosperous companies.

    The truth of the matter is, however, that unions are one of middle and working-class America’s last bulwarks against the ruthless drives for profits manifested by corporate giants like Verizon.

    Verizon has already outsourced a number of unionized jobs to India and Mexico to return greater profits and “remain competitive.” But how would you like it if the job that was lost was yours or that of one of your loved ones? Would you still say that “it’s just the way things are?”

    The CWA and the IBEW are not asking for an arm and a leg in these contract negotiations. They’re not asking for multi-million dollar compensation packages that Verizon’s CEO and top executives get every year. They are asking to be treated fairly and in proportion to the hard work they put into their job at Verizon every day.

    It’s quite alright to make substantial business profits, just not at the expense of real people whose lives Verizon can fundamentally alter.    

    • Redjek

      Total profit is irrelevant — profit MARGIN is relevant.

      Still, Verizon ran a 9.6% profit margin in 2010 — pretty darned good for a recession — errr, slow recovery.  It looks like Verizon is trying to take advantage of the anti-union mood (which is really an anti-PUBLIC SECTOR union mood) to drive a hard bargain:

      Among other things on its long list of demands, management wants to freeze the pension plan for covered workers and eliminate it entirely for all others, dramatically increase health care costs for active workers and retirees, and base wage increases on subjective evaluations by supervisors.

      I’ve got an old hunting buddy who is a Verizon lineman up in NYC.  I’ll try to get hold of him and see what’s going on from his end.

    • VADEM

      has zillions in their strike fund, mostly for this day. Hopefully their negotiators won’t cave in. EXCEPT for the fact that Verizon will not hesitate to bring in scabs. They’ve probably got them all lined up.

      Verizon is tough. CWA not so much.