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CWA Goes on Strike at Verizon

At least one of he major issues between the Communications Workers of America Union and Verizon is the company’s shipping of call center jobs to India.

Lowell McAdam, CEO at Verizon has come under fire from Bernie Sanders for corporate responsibility, As McAdam points out – the company, unlike others does pay taxes, and does invest in America –

His first accusation – that Verizon doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes – is just plain wrong. As our financial statements clearly show, we’ve paid more than $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years – that’s a 35% tax rate in 2015, for anyone who’s counting. We’ve laid out the facts repeatedly and did so again yesterday (see “Sen. Sanders needs to get his facts straight” at Verizon.com/about/news). The senator has started to fudge his language – talking of taxes not paid in some unspecified “given year” – but that doesn’t make his contention any less false.

Sen. Sanders also claims that Verizon doesn’t use its profits to benefit America. Again, a look at the facts says otherwise. In the last two years, Verizon has invested some $35 billion in infrastructure — virtually all of it in the U.S. — and paid out more than $16 billion in dividends to the millions of average Americans who invest in our stock. In Sanders’s home state of Vermont alone, Verizon has invested more than $16 million in plant and equipment and pays close to $42 million a year to vendors and suppliers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses. Just yesterday, we announced a $300 million investment to bring fiber to the city of Boston, which will make it one of the most technologically advanced cities in the nation and expand broadband access for its residents. Boston’s Mayor Walsh is partnering with us on this initiative, calling it crucial for providing the foundation for future technology growth. We’re making significant investments in New York City, Philadelphia and other metro areas throughout our wireline footprint.

Verizon is one of the top 3 capital investors in all corporate America.

True. But missing the fact that the reassembly of “Ma Bell” into a three headed monopoly on both wired and wireless services hasn’t done the county much good in terms of stimulating development of new technologies and specifically in the area of development of new businesses. That isn’t all Verizon’s doing. They have had a lot of help with that from techno-ignorant clowns on the Hill, and a compliant FCC.

Despite the worst efforts of the conservative Reich  – at least one union still survives in the US.

And yes, BTx3 is a former member.

Bernie shakes hands with the Picket Line

Tens Of Thousands Of Verizon Workers Go On Strike

Nearly 40,000 workers at Verizon have gone on strike, objecting to, among other things, outsourcing and temporary location transfers.

The two unions representing Verizon workers say their employees have been without a contract since August. They call the walkout, which began at 6 a.m. ET Wednesday, “by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years.”

NPR’s Joel Rose tells our Newscast unit:

“The striking employees mostly work in Verizon’s wireline business — landline phone, video and Internet — on the East Coast.

“The company says it’s offering a 6 percent raise, but needs to make what it calls ‘critical changes to its legacy contracts’ to reduce health care costs and retirement benefits.”

The unions — the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — say Verizon has made billions in profits, while still looking to spend less on employee benefits, Joel says.

Other objections from the union include offshoring of jobs, increasing use of contract workers and Verizon’s request for the ability to give workers two-month assignments that would require relocating — what the unions call “family-busting transfers.”

Verizon, which accuses union leaders of “ignoring today’s digital realities,” said Wednesday that it had indicated a willingness to enter into mediation if the unions extended their strike deadline, but that the unions refused.

The telecom giant says it is ready to serve customers during the walkout; a strike readiness team has been preparing for more than a year, the company said in a statement.

Thousands of nonunion employees have been trained as fill-ins, and they will be reassigning employees from elsewhere in the U.S. and other units in the company.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in American Greed

 

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The US Senate’s Diversity Problem…

No real surprise here in America’s Last Plantation. Not much has changed since the 70’s when “The Hill” was one of my assigned accounts and I had reason to frequent the Capital and Office buildings.

The invisible folks of color who actually make the physical machinery of the Capital run

The Senate Has Plenty Of Racial Diversity, But Not The Kind You Brag About

High-level Senate staffers are overwhelmingly white. Low-level service workers are overwhelmingly black and Latino.

To a casual observer, the halls of Congress look pretty white. But according to Anthony Thomas, people of color abound there, so long as you know where to find them.

“It’s all black and Hispanic people downstairs,” said Thomas, a 23-year-old African-American from the suburb of New Carrollton, Maryland.

Thomas works as a dishwasher in the Senate cafeteria in the basement of the Dirksen building. His duties include catering special parties held in the Capitol and the Senate office buildings, where lawmakers and staff rub elbows with lobbyists and other power brokers. Though there are exceptions, it’s mostly white people drinking and dining, and people of color like Thomas cleaning up after them, he said.

A report released in December by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the most influential Senate staffers are disproportionately white. Among senior-level Senate staff — chiefs of staff, legislative directors and other folks who ultimately shape the laws we all live by — a mere 7.1 percent are people of color, researchers found. Yet people of color comprise 36 percent of the U.S. public at large. (There may well be more diversity among mid- and low-level Senate staff, but no such numbers are available.)

So where is all the Senate’s diversity? Apparently, much of it is concentrated at the opposite end of the power structure.

For the past year and a half, a group called Good Jobs Nation, funded by the Change to Win federation of labor unions, has been organizing janitorial and food workers in the Senate offices and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. The group compiled a database of 160 rank-and-file employees it assumes would be eligible to vote if workers filed for a union election. (SEIU, a member of Change to Win, lost a union election among Senate dining employees three years ago, though the union could file for another election.)

When the group examined demographics, it found the makeup of the service workforce to be the exact opposite of the senior-level Senate staff.

The low-wage workers were almost exclusively people of color — a whopping 97 percent, according to a demographic breakdown Good Jobs Nation provided to The Huffington Post (the breakdown did not identify individual workers). That number shouldn’t be all the surprising, given the demographics of D.C. — a majority of residents are people of color — and the way low-wage food and janitorial jobsalready skew heavily toward minorities in the U.S. at large, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A caveat: This was not a scientific study. The database was compiled through on-the-ground outreach done by the group’s organizers, not through government records or an official survey. And since the group is only organizing rank-and-file employees, the numbers don’t account for middle management, where the workforce appears more mixed. Yet the figures should ring true for anyone who’s taken a close look at the workers cleaning the dishes and mopping the floors in the Senate.

“I think what’s happening at the Capitol reflects a larger trend in our economy — the gap between the knowledge economy workers and the service-sector workers,” said Joseph Geevarghese, director of Good Jobs Nation. “You’ve got a class of workers who are higher paid, and then you have an underclass of service workers who are low-paid and struggling to make ends meet.”…More

A fairly representative sample of the higher level staff, this one from Iowa

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Trouble at Mizzou – Black Football Player Strike Over Racist Attacks

This is ridiculous in this day and age. More disturbing is the School Administration’s failure to act.

Black Mizzou players say they’ll strike until president Tim Wolfe resigns

A group of black players on the Missouri football team says it will stop participating in football activities until university system president Tim Wolfe resigns.

The announcement came via Twitter on Saturday night in a post by Missouri’sLegion of Black Collegians. It comes after several recent racial incidents on Missouri’s campus, and with Wolfe under fire for how he has handled them.

The tweet included a photograph of 32 black men, including starting running back Russell Hansbrough.

“The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,'” the tweet read. “We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!”

Racial tension has been brewing at Missouri’s campus in Columbia since September, when Payton Head, the Missouri Students Association president and an African-American, said he was racially abused while walking. Students protested when it took nearly a week for the university chancellor to address the incident.

Then in October, a student yelled the N-word at members of the Legion of Black Collegians in a campus plaza while they were rehearsing for a play. And later that month, someone smeared a swastika with their own feces on a bathroom wall in a new residence hall.

The university downplayed the incident, and more backlash toward administrators ensued — with Wolfe enduring the most. Wolfe met with Butler and student groups on Friday to discuss the university’s handling of racial harassment cases.

Jonathan Butler, a Missouri grad student, began a hunger strike against Wolfe on Monday, saying Wolfe has failed to respond to student concerns. A change.org petition to remove Wolfe from office has over 2,000 supporters.

Now, the Tigers football team is involved.

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, 42 of the 64 players on Missouri’s current depth chart are African-American. Several took to social media on Saturday night to address the protest, with one, cornerback John Gibson, saying: “(The decision) has nothing to do with our coaches. Our coaches are 100% behind us. Including the white ones.”

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2015 in The Definition of Racism, The New Jim Crow

 

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Grambling University Football Players Strike Cancels Game

Not sure of the details here – but this is an expensive one for Grambling and Jackson State. They fired Doug WIlliams? Geez!

The team is 0-7 this year, after a 48-0 loss to Alcorn State last week. The team had a 1-11 record in 2012.

Former Coach Doug Williams and Team Mates.

Grambling Football Players Refuse To Travel To Jackson State After Practice Boycott

A Jackson State spokesman has announced that Saturday’s game against Grambling has been canceled.

JSU spokesman Wesley Peterson told The Associated Press Friday that Grambling officials contacted Jackson State to inform the university of the decision.

Disgruntled Grambling players had refused to travel to Mississippi for the game. Grambling spokesman Will Sutton had said earlier in a text to the AP that there would be “no forfeit” and that Grambling officials were trying to determine the next step to take.

Apparently, nothing could be worked out so that the game could be played.

Southwestern Athletic Conference Commissioner Duer Sharp had said before the decision was made not to play that if Grambling does not show for Saturday’s game, it will be forced to forfeit and the school will be fined.

“It’s very disappointing,” Sharp said. “But without knowing all the facts it’s hard for me to make a judgment.”

Friday’s apparent player boycott was the latest in three days of upheaval for Grambling’s proud program. Several media outlets have reported that players did not attend practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of issues with program and school leadership.

Grambling (0-7) has changed coaches twice in about two months. Doug Williams was fired two games into the season and replaced by George Ragsdale, who was reassigned Thursday and replaced by Dennis “Dirt” Winston.

The game is Jackson State’s homecoming and could hurt the school financially. The Grambling-Jackson State matchup usually draws very well — an announced crowd of more than 21,000 attended the game in Jackson in 2011.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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NBA Lockout – Racial Dimension

Not a big NBA fan. College Basketball was, at least until it got screwed by the destruction of the good college basketball leagues by schools pursuing that college football money, my favorite spectator sport.  What I would like to see is separate Football and Basketball leagues in College. One of the major reasons college bound potential basketball stars wanted to play in the Big East or the ACC (before they sold out to football) quite frankly was the level of competition.

In any event, as the NBA strike/lockout staggers on, becoming more acrimonious by the day, there is the increasing chance of issues, which shouldn’t even be issues – becoming key impediments. Bryant Gumbel was waaaaaay out of bounds – it’s hard to have sympathy for a bunch of guys, almost all of whose annual income puts them in the top 1%, and sometimes in the top .05%.

NBA lockout: Negotiations could be hijacked by racial perceptions

The owners “lied to you,” Derek Fisher said, moments after the players’ union president walked out of fruitless labor talks in Manhattan on Thursday night. And with that the mutual distrust and name-calling began anew.

Now the NBA is again facing the prospect of a bye year. Soon, it won’t be about money. Soon, the Rev. Jesse Jackson worries, it will be personal and irreconcilable and no longer about the color green.

“I hope it doesn’t degenerate into names and language that’s hard to take back once it’s started,” Jackson said from his Chicago office late Thursday afternoon. “If it goes down this road, that could amount to irreparable damage. If it goes away from labor negotiations, things could become irretrievable.”

I called Jackson to see what he thought of Bryant Gumbel’s portrayal of NBA Commissioner David Stern as a smug and pedantic bully in his dealings with the players during his closing remarks this week on HBO’s “Real Sports.” Gumbel’s commentary included the misguided characterization of Stern, widely known as the most forward-thinking, ethnically inclusive commissioner in modern pro sports, as a “modern plantation overseer.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Verizon – The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Been wondering for years when exactly the isht was going to hit the proverbial fan in this country. Workers have been disenfranchised in the millions, their jobs outsourced in an economy where even doing all the right things and punching all the right educational and academic tickets is no assurance of a basic wage…

Well… The strike at Verizon may have finally lit the fuse.

Verizon Strike Update: Company Calls in Hundreds of Non-Union Replacements

Verizon called in hundreds of non-union employees and additional management to fill in for striking workers as the work stoppage by unions enters its tenth day.

The company said the replacements are handling customer service and network operational duties.

“We’ve called up hundreds of additional employees in the last few days,” said Verizon spokesman Rich Young.

“Our plan is to do what we have to do to keep our networks running. By and large, 10 days into the strike, our networks are performing solidly.”

Meanwhile, the Communication Workers of America union said that more than 100,000 people have signed a petition asking the company’s chief executive to start serious negotiations with strikers.

The union claims that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam is “trying to push Verizon workers out of the middle class.”

Much of the impasse between Verizon and unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, centers on $1 billion in concessions that the strikers claim the company is demanding from them.

Union officials, who say they don’t want to lose their members’ free health care benefits, assert that since Verizon is a very profitable company (and has paid in excess of $258 million over the past four years to five top executives); the workers shouldn’t be forced to make such sacrifices.

“We will never have an economic recovery if profitable companies like Verizon can demand huge concessions from workers,” said CWA Communications Director Candice Johnson.

“You don’t build a middle class by cutting workers’ wages, benefits and standard of living,” she added. “That’s just one reason why Verizon is becoming synonymous with VeryGreedy.”

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

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No Road? No Noo….Ahem – Colombian Women “Crossed Legs” Strike Forces Government to Concede

I believe it was Stokley Carmichael wh proposed this strategy to shut down racism in the United States in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

This one is definitely “hitting below the belt”, a strike by Colombia women which has brought the local government, literally to their knees.

sex strike

Authorities bow to southwest Colombia sex strike

Authorities in the southwest of Colombia have agreed to honor the demands of a sex strike last week organized by 300 women in a small town in southern Colombia.

For 38 days, 300 women in the town of Barbacoas have participated in a “strike of crossed legs” denying their husbands sexual favors until a road that connects their town to the rest of Colombia is paved. The men of Barbacoa also joined the women in protest by launching a hunger strike.

The road is in such bad condition that it currently takes 12 to 14 hours for residents to reach the nearest hospital, which has resulted in many unnecessary deaths.

Now it appears that Colombian authorities have yielded to the women’s effort. In a meeting that included the director of major projects of the National Roads Institute, the acting governor of Nariño and a representative from the Army, it was decided that paving would start on the road on October 11.

According to Diego Fernando Enriquez, a family judge and promoter of the protest, the army would begin working immediately to set up depots for equipment and supplies.

“Something very important for us is that the project was reported in the national budget and that the project includes construction of the whole way,” said Enriquez.

At first, $22.5 million will be made available to pave the section between the towns of Junin and Buenavista. The stretch from there to Barbacoas is in the most critical need of repair.

Despite the promises of the government, the women announced that the sex strike would continue until October 11 when construction actually begins. “The Barbacoan community is aware that there have always been many promises made here that have never been kept,” said the group in a message.

“Give it up…Or Turn it Loose”…

Indeed.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in News

 

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