In one small corner of the huge strike by workers of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), the laborers found support among some local politicians.
At a call center in Forest Hills in Queens, N.Y. City Councilman Daniel Dromm, a Democrat representing Jackson Heights, told striking workers: “There is no better example of corporate greed than what is going on here [at Verizon]. They forget who provides the services. They forget who does the work and who brings in the money,” according to YourNabe.com
In addition, Verizon reportedly wants to outsource the jobs from the Forest Hills site to places like Florida and Texas, which have lower costs of living and laxer labor laws.
A Verizon union official, Roberto Perez, told a local paper that the company should not be freezing pensions and cutting health care coverage while it rakes in big money.
“A company that makes billions with a ‘B’ refuses to negotiate in good faith,” he said. “Everybody came to this corporation hoping to retire and have a decent pension.”
Indeed, according to the company’s own website, Verizon earned $101.6-billion in profits in 2010.
U.S. Congressman Joseph Crowley, also a Democrat from Jackson Heights, told the Forest Hills rally: “I wanted to demonstrate my support for what you are all fighting for. That is for the opportunity to put food on your tables and the ability to have the opportunity to send your kids to college and to afford proper health care coverage.”
According to reports, Crowley tried to assist Verizon workers two years ago when they wanted the company to postpone a decision to move the call enter from The Bronx to Forest Hills (which happened anyway).