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45,000 Verizon Workers On Strike Over New Contract 317

Trouble with your landline? If you have Verizon, especially on the east coast, it might not be the best time to have it fixed; The Daily Mail reports that "Forty-five thousand Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., are on the picket line Sunday as labour contract talks fizzled. More than a fifth of the wireless giant's work force has gone on strike as contract negotiations for the wireline division broke down last night."
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45,000 Verizon Workers On Strike Over New Contract

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:42PM (#37015848)

    What impact will this have on Verizon's legendary customer service?

    • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:48PM (#37015890)

      What impact will this have on Verizon's legendary customer service?

      It'll improve because during the interminably long hold times, more customers will solve the problem on their own, rather than be given the wrong answer.

    • by alostpacket ( 1972110 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:49PM (#37015896) Homepage

      Thank you for calling Verizon. To go to the main menu, press 1. To exit this menu and go to the main menu, press 2. To return to the main menu, press 3. To hear these options again, press 4.



      • by metalmaster ( 1005171 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @03:19PM (#37016158)
        better than this honest example from T-Mobile customer service.....

        IVR: "Please tell me what youre calling about in your own words"
        ME: "Billing"
        IVR: "I didnt understand your request. Im going to disconnect this call, and you can try again later"

        I also tried "representative", "account" ,"help" and "support." I eventually got to a person who transferred me to the right department. and then the real fun started.....I asked the rep about a service plan and whether or not it was a flat rate or it included other taxes and fees. She told me i would have to ask an in-store rep for the answer.
        • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @03:25PM (#37016216) Journal
          Not sure if it's the same in the USA, but in the UK there's a very easy way of getting put through to the one person in the call centre who can actually sort out your problem, which works with all of the mobile carriers:

          Hello, I'm calling to cancel my contract.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 07, 2011 @04:07PM (#37016534)

            Sometimes works here. As did the old just enter rubbish in the tone menu until it dumped you to a rep. Unfortunately more and more companies are deciding they really don't need the customers who want to talk to someone. It's gotten to the point that even when you want to cancel a contract or have a repair you can't get anyone. I have one friend who just refused to pay his bill until they cancelled his service and then when they called him over his billing he paid the difference and told them to cancel it. The next month they called because they kept the service going after he told them to cancel it but didn't have a credit card on file to charge the non-existant service to. It's become almost criminal how companies least the mob keeps your shop from burning down when they extort you.

        • She told me i would have to ask an in-store rep for the answer.

          The call center monkeys aren't going to have access to all the state and local taxes that may apply. Not that they couldn't, I suppose, but they don't.

          • The question was simple flat rate or no. For example, Boost Mobile(Sprint/Nextel) has a $50 plan that's just that.....$50. This differs from the more traditional $50 + tax and fees. Additionally, she wasnt your typical billing or support drone. The person who transfered me to her said she was their "Unlimited4G promotion representative" To me that implies sales knowlege of the service.
  • by DWMorse ( 1816016 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:44PM (#37015866) Homepage
    Someone will hear about this, Verizon! I dema [Closing Link: (Disconnected from server.)]
  • In other news, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:44PM (#37015868)
    In other, totally unrelated news, Verizon reported a 6.3% earnings jump from last year at this time. Of course, since Verizon has less free spending money and has invested in their hopelessly out of date network to remain competitive with the 3rd world... they decided to cut labor and give themselves raises for being so smart!
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:46PM (#37015876) Journal
    How dare they let their petty concerns over whether they get a pittance or a laughable pittance from Verizon's bloated coffers interfere with my right to vapid chatter?
    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @03:10PM (#37016076)

      the article is 'surprisingly' short on details about WHY the workers are on strike.

      you can bet they have a good reason. and the fact that media does not report news anymore when its the little guy who gets stomped by big business..

      I've been on the receiving side of having wages cut, benefits cut and then my job cut. I can look and see the middle class eroding before my own eyes. I can fully believe 'big wireless' is being greedy and forcing workers to settle for less and less over time.

      why isn't this reported?

      you know why. the real truth is not what media co's want coming out. its actually too unsettling to report this level of truth in the world.

      I've been a fan of unions, recently. I see a lot of parallels between the days of woody guthrie and today. big companies are owning your ass and getting you to settle for less and less, all the while getting richer and richer. study history, its a 100% repeat of the early part of the 1900's in the US. listen to the pro-union and pro-labor songs (folk songs) and imagine them being sung today. they fit like a glove.

      we need unions back. and we need most of the workers to admit this and force companies to stop stealing OUR hard earned wealth.

      capitalism - in its current state - is a failure. look all around you. we need something better. what's it going to take before everyone realizes that? how much worse does it have to get?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 07, 2011 @03:22PM (#37016180)

        capitalism - in its current state - is a failure. look all around you.

        *looking around*

        Yup, looks good. We have money in the bank, and our currency is so strong you could bounce an oil tanker off it. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low. People are starting businesses right and left. Most of them will not make it, but such is life. Crime is low, even for a country that ranks fourth when it comes to gun ownership.

        Then again, we have sensible taxes, and we are not being overrun by teabaggers. We don't start wars that drain our coffers every decade or so.

        The country would be Norway, which I understand is usually referred to as "communist" at your end of the pond. How are the republicans working out for you guys?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          As I look around I see tea partiers trying to lower the oppressive tax burden that is stifling business and employment. I see a currency that has been driven into the ground by Liberal Keynsian economic philosophy in action (government stimulus will save the economy, to get money for government stimulus we will take the money from those who make up the economic engine of the country. Then we take 25% of that money for administrative costs of a bloated and corrupt government and send the rest to out favorite
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by jo_ham ( 604554 )

            "oppressive tax burden" - I stopped reading right there.

            Don't let facts get in the way of your tea bagger talking points.

          • Please explain to me why the "job creators" would like to invest in an economy that is in the shitters. If I were to sit on a few million bucks, I would wait it out. Most people are like me.
            • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

              If I were to sit on a few million bucks, I would wait it out. Most people are like me.

              Most people who have no money think like you, maybe. People who do have money know better than to "sit on it" until inflation wastes it away to nothing. And how do you want a multimillionaire to "sit on" his money, anyway? Stick it under the mattress? Even if you just put it in a no-interest checking account, the bank still invests your money -- you just don't see any of the proceeds. Why let someone else take their cut when you get nothing? If you have real money, you have pretty much no option but to inve

        • Since when does capitalism include legal tender, heavily regulated media, medicine, food, healthcare, communications, taxes, housing, and [insert industry here]?

          The U.S. is not a capitalist nation.

          • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

            Since when does capitalism include legal tender, heavily regulated media, medicine, food, healthcare, communications, taxes, housing, and [insert industry here]?

            I'll bite. Since when does it not? Capitalism is not synonymous with "unregulated markets."

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @03:34PM (#37016278) Journal
        The fact that my original post wasn't trivially identified as sarcasm rather unnerves me...
      • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
        Labor is not portrayed fairly in the media because a large group of manufacturers got together and agreed to pull ads from newspapers which cover unions positively
      • why isn't this reported?

        Because, contrary to popular mythology, the media lean to the right []. (It's only gotten worse since 1998.)

        Like educated, urban populations in general, journalists tend to be socially liberal -- socially conservative positions are almost always the product of poor education, or of parochial views resulting from a narrow experience of the world. But on economic issues, the media leans right.

      • by xaxa ( 988988 )

        the article is 'surprisingly' short on details about WHY the workers are on strike.

        It's a British newspaper (and not a good quality one). I think "Talks in Philadelphia and New York stalled after Verizon demanded more than 100 concessions from workers regarding health care, pensions and work rules, said the Communications Workers of America" sums it up for me, though I'd expect more detail if it was happening here in the UK.

        It's odd to have the Daily Mail as the source for some very American news though.

        how much worse does it have to get?

        I don't know. The anti-union posts on here are really strange to me. (and this one []).

      • I understand the sentiment against unions here but the reality is that they are the only chance for workers to negotiate in equal footing with company owners. Corruption inside unions, like corruption in corporations and governments come from a lack of accountability. Make the union leaders to follow the same rules of the elected public officers and make sure that all elections and votes are done by free and secret ballot and you get a union that will take the same care of the company as the shareholders if

      • I do listen to some of the older songs in that area and heck, you even have Dropkick Murphys making new ones.
        However, even if I like the music, I'm not automatically going to agree with the political opinions embodied within.
        It can be good for helping to bring the topic to one's attention and for rallying the base, though.

  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:50PM (#37015910)

    ...will not be between Black and White, or White and Hispanic, or even Rich and Poor. It will be between those who get pensions and employer-provided healthcare and those who don't.

    • No, it has been between Rich and Poor, although the Poor are getting stomped, as much as the Rich might want us all to believe otherwise. If you look at the last 20 years, the vast majority if the *new wealth* which has been created has been concentrated in the hands of the top 0.1% of the population. That's where all the money has gone, not towards social security, not towards Cadillac health insurance for people with jobs in manufacturing. Where is the money to provide pensions and health-care to the share of the population who doesn't have it? It's sitting in Bill f-ing Gates bank account, that's where it is.

        There's a plate with 12 cookies on it, a rich guy, a teacher and a regular working Joe.

        The rich guy takes 11 of the cookies, leans over to Joe, and says "I'd watch out, I think the teacher is trying to steal your cookie."
    • by TarPitt ( 217247 )

      They are already fixing this. Pensions are a thing of the past for almost all private sector workers. Originally, public sector workers gained these benefits as a way to keep up with private sector (largely unionized) employees - to keep public sector benefits even.

      Now that the private sector has eliminated pensions (and unions for the most part), the same will hold true for the public sector.

      Take away a benefit from one group, pit them against another group that still has the benefit, and you lower your

  • I'll say up front, I don't know if the workers are striking because they don't have gold-trimmed toilet seats or their vacation benefits are being cut, but I don't really care. After seeing workers getting shafted in all sorts of industries, I'm quite happy to see at least one group of workers showing the middle finger to the execs.

    Unfortunately, my family uses Verizon wireless, but I wasn't going to call customer service any time soon.

    • sick time
      time off
      health plan

      not only that let's go fedex and make then have to buy / rent the tuck and pay all costs even gas and repairs.
      make them have to buy there own tools, cable and more.

      • by memnock ( 466995 )

        Years ago, a UPS driver who was our "regular" guy told me that the drivers had to pay for scratches and damages to the trucks. That's one anecdote and I never verified it. So UPS already has been shafting their drivers.

        • Depending on the union contract UPS drivers have to pay for damages to their trucks, but the UPS drivers also get things like the ability to retire with a full pension and health insurance after 20 years. Now this just changed and they added that you had to be older than 57 to retire. I just had a conversation with a guy griping that he had to wait another 10 years to retire. He thought that was just not fair, I mean he was 45 and had 18 years. But he said it wasn't all bad, because he had 8 weeks of vacati


    • Re:Hell Yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ffejie ( 779512 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @03:28PM (#37016248)

      Unfortunately, my family uses Verizon wireless, but I wasn't going to call customer service any time soon.

      Verizon Wireless is not affected - they're non union and a different company from Verizon Telecom, jointly owned by Verizon Communications (55%) and Vodaphone (45%). The level of disinformation happening in this Slashdot discussion far exceeds the normal level.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        The level of disinformation happening in this Slashdot discussion far exceeds the normal level.

        No, it's about average for Slashdot.

    • Re:Hell Yes! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fireshadow ( 632041 ) <[matthew] [at] []> on Sunday August 07, 2011 @03:42PM (#37016362) Journal

      Verizon wants 100 concessions from their union employees. Even though Verizon’s top five executives received compensation of $258 million over the past four years (1), Verizon wants to freeze pensions for current employees. Also eliminate traditional pensions for future workers, while making its 401(k) plans somewhat more generous for both (2). Additional, there's demands from Verizon regarding health care premiums for union employees.


      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        YOu know Verizon was paying up to $17/hr for their call center where I lived and offered health insurance for its workers and pensions. The job sucks but it is well worth it if you have a famiy.

        I noticed just a few days ago a lot of temp agencies are advertising, BIG TELECOM needs help desk workers, 13/hr, no pensions or benefits, all contract etc.

        Now it seems to make sense. Verizon probably paid the temp agencies to quickly find workers to replace the good ones with cheaper ones so they can simply fire all

    • In essence, your post is somewhat like: since there are other workers who had lost their jobs, they have to accept everything the company offers them.

      Could you send my the e-mail of your boss/customers? I think he/them might be interested in knowing your POV...

  • The Daily Mail reports: blah blah blah, don't acknowledge the existence of The Daily Mail.

  • They can't even treat their workers right, and we expect more from their customer service... *sigh*

    If only had a choice.

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @06:18PM (#37017356) Journal

    Check ...

    Me and the 7 million other unemployed Americans will be happy to take these jobs and will be proud to be non unionized. Keep it up union

    • by TarPitt ( 217247 )

      and hundreds of millions of impoverished workers in the developing world would be happy to take your non-union job.

      Sorry, you have already lost.

    • Don't forget to write in the resume that you are willing to work for as little as anybody else they can find! Ask them to cut your rate if they get cheapest workers!

      • This right here. I'm willing to do the same (accept a lower paycheck) if that means staying employed. I assume most Americans would do the same all while grumbling about the whole process. But you know what? The cost of goods would also come down because no one can afford them. Technically, this would be deflation. However, we are in a period of inflation at this moment. At some point, all fiat monetary were bound to have their weaknesses exposed. If you ask me politics only accelerated the inevitable to co

  • Lets go on strike and risk what few jobs we do have. Ya, that makes tons of sense to me?!?!?

    Smart move CWA.

  • sure, it's the Daily Fail and it's to be expected, but the summary (drawing form the article?) clearly seems to be trying to get customers mad at the workers.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll