April 25, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Cornell, NY – Striking Verizon workers in this Southern Tier town have one big grievance: The company wants the power to ship them to out-of-town jobs for as long as 60 days, up from the current three weeks.
“What the company wants to do is send us out of town for 60 days at a time, bring us back for a week, and send us back out for another 60 days,” striker Dan Lee said, as members of Communications Workers of America Union Local 1111 picketed the garage where they worked. “If you’re shipped out of town for three-week tours it really upsets your life and family, and they don’t care.” Picketer Dan Hammond said if workers refuse an out-of-town assignment, “you’re done. You get fired. That’s insubordination.” A Verizon spokesperson responded that the unions “need to take a look at where the business stands in 2016.” The CWA said Verizon started negotiations asking for 120 days away from home, recently coming down to 60 days. Picketers said the company was being intransigent. “The same thing they had on the table 10 months ago is what they have on the table today,” Lee said. “Their profits were $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2016, and $39 billion over the last three years. Isn’t that enough money?” Read more