BOSTON (CBS) – Thousands of Verizon workers hit the picket lines across the Northeast Monday, including the financial district in Boston.

Their contract expired Saturday without a new deal in place, so 45,000 members of the Communications Workers of America went on strike in several states.

With more people using smart phones, Verizon’s landline business is down, so it’s looking to lower costs, especially in health care and pensions.

Verizon has sent managers to help fill shifts in the states affected by the strike.

Anyone who crossed the picket line at the company’s New England headquarters on Franklin Street Monday was greeted by hundreds of picketers yelling “Scab!” and “Rats!”

“We’re also picketing the Verizon Wireless store and the response from our membership has been great,” IBEW Local 2222 spokesman Paul Feeney told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

“The workers really understand what’s at stake. We’re talking about jobs. We’re trying to keep the jobs in the community and Verizon has made no bones about it, that they’d like to ship those jobs overseas to the Phillippines, places like Mexico.”

Comments (21)
  1. Matt says:

    If you are unhappy with how you are being treated at your job, then go get another one. Especially when you work in a declining industry. Corporate profits are not your profits.

    1. Joe says:

      Sounds easy you must have a great one, especially one that lets you comment on articles at 2:08pm during a workday. And since when have cellphones become a declining industry? Thats news to me.

    2. seriously says:

      No corporate profits aren’t workers profits but they are reason for a corporation to value its employees and reward them with a reasonable contract. A successful corporation does not need to gut the healthcare, pension, location of jobs (to overseas), sick days, holidays, etc. That goes beyond a profit and moves to greed.

    3. Union-proud says:

      The very backbone which created the great profits for this corp. were built by us union workers. You’re showing your ignorace by stating it’s a declining industry. Data is everything now adays. Everyone thinks that wireless is the new technology, do you have any idea how wireless works? It may be wireless to you but the infrustructure of the wireless network rides on fiber lines which we provision and maintain. Learn something before you show your ignorance.

    4. WBMike says:

      I agree Matt. The company answers to shareholders, NOT workers. Workers are replaceable – anywhere. What right do workers have to demand from their company?? Such a joke. The job is NOT there for you!! You are lucky to have it. At any non-union place, you suck it up. If a company wants to have you pay more for health insurance, you do, or go find another one. If they have lower need in some area, they let people go. You can’t strike to get things. Deal with it and get back to work.

      1. adarc says:

        I think workers have a right to know why the corporate money is being used to give the higher ups ( still workers) 70% pay increases, while the rest are expected to lose pay & benefits. Don’t believe me, look it up :

      2. UshouldKnow says:

        it’s not just about health insurance, that’s what the company and the media reports. You have to understand that Verizon has an “in” with the media because of the amount of advertising dollars they spend with the media. please research the facts before you make comments. one fact you missed is a majority of the employees at Varizon are also shareholders. We just ask for the truth and understanding not throwing barbs at each other. Thanks and hope you can see both sides of the story.

  2. Joe says:

    Its great to see anybody standing up for themselves. With coprorations making record profits while the little guy suffers its about time sombody took the fight to them. It’s also great seeing a union that not only works but exists! Best of luck

    1. Union-proud says:

      Thanks Joe, it looks like it’s going to be a tough fight but we’re up for it.

  3. really says:

    This is a watershed moment for labor . All the big corps are looking to send work overseas and to give no benefits. We are here to tell them no. And to all the negative people lead aclean life graduate from high school and pass the test and you can have the luxury of being forced every night working in the freezing cold and blazing heat for a company that could care less about you or your family.

    1. WBMike says:

      Who are you to tell a company what they can and can’t do? They are not here for you! They exist to produce a product or service, make money and pay shareholders. That’s it. Hopefully all the while helping the environment, communities, charities, etc…

  4. dont like haters says:

    Hey wbmike sounds like you enjoy being a lackey. Enjoy living in day to day for a company that could care less about you. Jealousy is so ignorant. We are your neighbors and friends ,how much does verizon contribute to your community

    1. WBMike says:

      Ha, lackey. ;) At least I don’t b*tch when something doesn’t go my way. I just don’t get why people think a company owes them. They can increase a workers cost for benefits, they can do wage freezes or layoffs, they can decrease hours. They owe you nothing! You’d hope that a company appreciates their employees, creates a good environment, but, you can always work somewhere else if you don’t like it. Without them, you don’t have income!! At least be somewhat appreciative.

      Btw, I do very well and been at my company for quite while. At the same time, I know that I am like everyone else out there – replaceable. I enjoy my work, do a good job and I am rewarded well for it, but I don’t think for one second that the job exists for me – like union workers seem to. Yes, it is a good workplace and yes, they have increased our healthcare benefit costs and not contributed to our retirement plans, and we’ve dealth with it. No striking here.

      1. adarc says:

        I guess the difference MIke is that you don’t sound like you have any specialized skills, which most Verizon Techs (and other union members do ) . It sounds like you can go anywhere in your white shirt and red power tie and get a job pushing paper and agreeing with the higher ups ( and apparently spending scads of time posting to the Internet) . Union workers do not believe that the jobs exist for them, but they do want a certain amount of protection from incompetant management, in exchange for often highly specialized skils, and sometimes dangerous work ( climb any telephone poles lately WBMike). If we take away unions, these jobs will cease to be attractive to anyone, they are hard work, not at all glamorous, and hold little chance of advancement. Their one true benefit is stability.

      2. e says:

        wbmike have do you even respect a union. unions are here to protect us jobs from being shipped overseas. verizon is trying to ship jobs overseas and i like to see you climb a pole in the rain or snow to make sure that people have phone service. I respect the employees of verizon who are on strike to protect thier jobs and to keep jobs here not in china or some other country.

  5. seriously says:

    WMMike- a (good) company and the workers understand it is a reciprocal relationship- one can’t profit without the other. yes healthcare increases or pay freezes are a sign of the times, but that is not the issue though it is the only thing Verizon is putting out there. Verizon is not demonstrating any type of relationship, or better yet wants to end the relationship- they want to move jobs overseas and cut all areas of benefit so that the union workers step aside and let them do it quietly. We all look around at the mess the US is in, this is an example of how we got here. US dept labor, OSHA, etc. were all made to ensure a company treated workers fairly and management is to ensure workers work. The way around that is to ship things overseas where there isn’t any protective agencies but in the mean time we have sold our country to China. Most jobs are skilled in their own way and each job should have a benefit for the skill, risk, etc. Verizon doesn’t want to recognize that skill, risk, etc. All that is being asked for is to have that reciprocal relationship again.

  6. e says:

    unions are here to protect workers and i am proud of the union to take stand again verizon. they make billions of dollars they can afford to keep healthcare cost low and give the union a fair deal. UNIONS HELP BUILD THIS COUNTRY AND UNIONS GOT THE 8 HOUR WORK DAY AND PROCTECT THE RIGHTS OF UNION MEMEBERS. to the people who post here saying that the union should not strike to get a fair deal from a multi billion dollar company. you are sadly mistaken. i am union proud and i will walk with my union brothers and sisters.

    1. CluelessUnions says:

      I hope you keep walking until you and your family lose your home and all of your belongings. The Verizon Landline division is down 60%. It is a dying technology. It is a horrible business decision for a company to not cut its funding into a dying sector. Get with the times. UMADBRO?

  7. Sidewalk says:

    Good thing these picketers are wasting an entire day for a cause that nobody really cares about. Get off the sidewalk and move out of the way you leeches.

  8. Sidewalk 2 says:

    Seriously . . . get off the sidewalks and stop heckling people.

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