April 15, 2016

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Verizon strikers get UUP support

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Watch video of the Verizon pickets

Click here to read UUP President Fred Kowal's media statement about UUP supporting striking Verizon workers

Chanting “Who’s the pig? Verizon’s the pig!” and “Union busting is disgusting,” a group of UUP and NYSUT members and staff joined over 200 striking Verizon workers and union supporters in an April 15 strike march in front of a Verizon Wireless store just up the street from UUP headquarters.

And a small group of Empire State College members marched with more than 100 Verizon workers on a picket line on April 16 in Queensbury, Warren County.

Statewide VP for Academics Jamie Dangler, above in red beret, led the UUP contingent, which picketed in front of a Verizon Wireless store in Latham, Albany County; Empire State College Chapter President Pamela Malone walked in Queensbury.

Union sisters and brothers from UUP and NYSUT joined the Verizon picket lines to show their support for more than 39,000 striking Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers employees across New York and the East Coast.

The CWA/District 1 and IBEW/Local 2222 workers have been without a contract since August 2015. Verizon workers went on strike April 13.

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“Despite making $18 billion in profits in the last 18 months and top executives raking in $249 million over the last five years, Verizon is still insisting on slashing job security, health care and retirement security, and refuses to engage in serious bargaining toward a fair contract,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “This is not fair to their workers and our sisters and brothers in labor.”

“As the son of a 50-year member of the IBEW, I can empathize with these workers, who are fighting for their families and their futures,” he said in an April 13 media statement.

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Albany Chapter UUP member Ross Mealey, above, a 15-year member of CWA and a Verizon employee, said he’s disheartened that Verizon won’t bargain in good faith.

“Verizon makes so much money—they basically have a license to print money—and to not give regular, middle-class union people a good contract is just disgusting,” he said.

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Malone, above, holding a UUP sign that read "Fair contract for Verizon Workers," said she took part in the action because labor has to stick together.

"We have a company that posts billions and billions of dollars in profits every year, and instead of doing what's right, they're going after the rank-and-file and trying to take away their earned benefits and that is just not fair," she said.

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