Presidential candidate C. Bernie Sanders has spoken to a rally of striking Verizon workers on Wednesday, showing solidarity by joining them on the line picket line in New York City unloading truths against the corporate giant in a sidewalk speech.
Around 40,000 Verizon workers have been on strike Wednesday morning after 10 months of negotiations with the corporation failed to produce a new contract. The comrades of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers unions have been actively representing the workers.
It’s the largest strike in the U.S. in the last four years and it’s happening in the lead up to the presidential primaries come to New York.
Sanders’ speech aired live on cable news giving Verizon’s apporach to dealing with its workers much needed publicity. Sanders who has for many years supported the struggle of the CWA has receieved received the union’s endorsement. In his speech Sanders called Verizon “another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.”
Verizon, who also the owns Hillary Clinton endorsing Huffington Post, said in a statement published via teh Huffignton post ‘that it had made “good faith efforts” at the bargaining table and offered wage increases, but “union leaders decided to call a strike rather than sit down and work on the issues that need to be resolved.” The union says the company has refused to put layoff protections for newer employees into the contract and wants to be able to have technicians work far from home for up to two months at a time’.
Sanders congratulated the striking workers for having the “courage” to walk out.
“I know how hard it is, what a difficult decision it is to go out on strike. I know you’ve thought a whole lot about it, and I know your families will pay a price,” the Vermont independent said. “Today, you are standing up not just for justice for Verizon workers, you’re standing up for millions of Americans who don’t have a union.”
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