May 25, 2016
By WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
Cheektowaga, NY – Saturday (May 21st) was Family Day on the picket line in the Buffalo Suburb of Cheektowaga, as a couple of hundred moms and dads and kids and dogs were joined by numerous representatives from Western New York’s Labor Unions in a grand show of support and solidarity for Striking Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Members.
“This is ‘the generation we’re fighting for,’” a serious CWA Local 1122 Executive Vice President John Mudie (pictured below) – who also serves as President of the Buffalo AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, told WNYLaborToday.com as he watched a number of his red-clad Members and their families, as well as representatives from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the Teamsters, United Steelworkers (USW) and Painters Union (to name just a few), walk in line.
“The morale of our Members is ‘incredibly high,’” he added. “Because we ‘all’ realize how ‘evil’ this company is and for ‘what it has allowed to happen.’ In fact, I was told that at one of our locations there were a number of our Members who were in different ‘cliques” and ‘didn’t really talk to one another’ for as long as two years – ‘but now they’re connecting and talking to’ each other.”
After 10 months of talks on a new contract failed to produce a new agreement, Verizon’s 39,000 CWA (which represents 29,000 Workers) and IBEW (which represents 10,000) represented Employees walked off the job on April 13th. There are between 700 and 800 Unionized Verizon Workers employed here in Western New York.
The company’s Unionized Union Workforce is upset over a number of Verizon’s demands at the bargaining table, which include – in part: Gutting job security protections; Contracting out more work; Offshoring jobs to Mexico and the Philippines, as well as other locations; Requiring Technicians to work away from home for as long as two months without seeing their families; and Refusing to negotiate any improvements in wages, benefits or working conditions for Verizon Wireless Retail Workers, who formed a Union back in 2014.
On Thursday (May 19th), Verizon Workers marched in Washington, D.C. to the White House to call more public attention to the massive Strike, which in large part is being ignored by the mainstream media (On Saturday, WNYLaborToday.com was the only Buffalo Media Outlet to cover the picketing action, and on May 8th – when 1,000 marched in Downtown Buffalo, Your On-Line Labor Newspaper was the only media there to cover that action). To read more click on the following link