Bernie Marches With Verizon Workers as Its Execs and Lobbyists Give Big to Hillary
On Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders marched alongside Verizon workers in New York City. Around 40,000 Verizon employees represented by both the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are in a contract dispute with the company, with CWA accusing the notoriously anti-union Verizon of retaliating against employees who do labor activism.
As he joined the workers' picket, Sanders also sent along a formal statement of support, saying, “I am hopeful you will reach a fair contract. But if you run into roadblocks, as in years past, know that I will be there with you until a fair contract is negotiated.”
Sanders' approach to Verizon—standing with workers who are in tough negotiations—is in contrast to Hillary Clinton's, who has not made any statements about the current dispute. Verizon executives and lobbyists seem to appreciate that. Over the course of her campaign, Verizon executives and lobbyists have given tens of thousands of dollars to her operation. Verizon vice-presidents Lydia Pulley, Kathleen Grillo, and Donna Epps each gave $2,700 to Hillary for America. Verizon senior vice-president Thomas Edwards and vice-president Chris Debosier pitched in $1,000. Leecia Eve, a former Hillary staffer who today is a lobbyist for Verizon gave $2,700. Another Verizon lobbyist, David Lamendola, gave Hillary $1,000.
The case of Verizon demonstrates the contrasts between the candidates: Clinton receives support from management, while Sanders is on the side of the workers.