Verizon Workers to Hold 400 Protest Events Across the US, Plan to Crash Company's Shareholder Meeting
Striking Verizon workers and their supporters are holding a day of protest on Thursday, May 5. There will be over 400 actions throughout the country as the work stoppage enters its fourth week. Workers will also descend on the company's shareholder meeting in New Mexico. According to a Communications Workers of America press release:
In Albuquerque, striking workers, other CWA members, and community and labor supporters will protest outside the shareholder meeting at the Oldtown Hotel. Verizon workers will carry banners calling for a fair contract are planning to deliver petitions to Lowell McAdam from 350,000 customers who have grown increasingly frustrated with the company.
The union is a major shareholder, owing roughly $1.3 billion in company stock. They want shareholders to vote for executive pay to be capped. The CWA press release quotes Richard Hesterhagen, a striking Staten Island worker and shareholder:
"Verizon’s CEO [Lowell McAdam] makes 243 times more than the average worker, while customers in towns up and down the east-coast can’t get the quality service the company promised them. Striking workers aren’t just fighting to protect good middle-class jobs, we’re fighting for a better Verizon that invests in communities, increases access to broadband and closes the digital divide. That’s the vision this company needs, not the short-term payouts for executives that the current leadership is promoting.”
Last month, Lowell McAdam made an unannounced stop at picket line in DeWitt, where he told the workers he did not understand the strike and claimed he was unaware of the outsourcing that angered many of them. The visit came shortly after McAdam posted a rant against Bernie Sanders on LinkedIn, dismissing the populist presidential candidate's economic views as "contemptible."
At 36,000 people, the strike is the biggest American work stoppage since 2011, but Verizon claims at least 1,300 employees have crossed the picket line. Last week Verizon declared it had made its "last, best and final offer."
Watch a CNN video on the strike below.