"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Verizon Workers Go On Strike -- Object to Paying Anything for Healthcare

They couldn't have picked a worse time to strike.  One hang up by the unions seems to be over healthcare:
... Verizon said its wireline business has been in decline for more than a decade, and that it is asking for changes in the contract to strengthen the unit. The company said union employees contribute nothing to their health care premiums.
Union employees of Verizon are contributing nothing to their health care premiums while many of us are paying hundreds of dollars a month for healthcare -- over $400 if you have the Federal Employee Blue Cross/Blue Shield family plan.  How did the unions ever pull it off that they would not have to contribute to their own healthcare?  The attitude that we are all owed health insurance without having to pay is a socialistic attitude with unrealistic expectations in today's world.  Nothing like health insurance is free as someone has to pay in the end.  In most cases, it is the consumer as the companies raise the price of the goods and services.

When unions were formed it was a safety issue but now it seems to be all about how much they can rip off a company through threats of strike and now a strike.  Take a look at Boeing workers in Seattle who go on strike every three to four years or the ones in Chicago striking the Congress Plaza Hotel for eight years. The union pay to workers when they strike in a lot of cases is slightly less than what they get paid when they work.  They have no incentive to settle anything.  Now the unions object to paying more for health benefits when some have paid zero.

Verizon has made contingency plans using non-union workers who make up the majority of their company.  Maybe they will discover they don't need so many union members or any at all.  Going on strike in today's economy is short sighted but since Obama took office the unions have been getting bolder and think with the DOJ behind them, they can do whatever.  They may be in for a shock one of these days when more states go Right to Work and the union leaders who call the shots have taken them down the wrong path. 
Verizon Workers On Strike Over Contract

NEW YORK -- Tens of thousands of unionized Verizon Communications Inc. workers from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., went on strike early Sunday after they failed to agree on a new labor contract with the telecommunications company. 
The Communications Workers of America said negotiations in Philadelphia and New York stalled Saturday night after Verizon continued to demand more than 100 concessions from workers and the unions refused to budge. 
Mark C. Reed, Verizon's executive vice president of human resources, called the outcome of the unions' actions "regrettable" for customers and employees. 
"We will continue to do our part to reach a new contract that reflects today's economic realities in our wireline business and addresses the needs of all parties," he said in a statement. 
The contract that expired midnight Saturday covers 45,000 workers, including 10,000 represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who serve as telephone and repair technicians, customer service representatives, operators and more. 
"Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families," CWA said in a statement Sunday. 
Verizon, the nation's largest wireless carrier, has 196,000 workers; 135,000 are non-union.
At the center of the contract negotiations, which began June 22, are the costs of health care, pensions and work rules. 
The CWA said the concessions are unjustified and harsh, given that Verizon is highly profitable – the company's revenue rose 2.8 percent to $27.5 billion in the second quarter. Its growth was largely attributed to its wireless business. 
Excerpt:  Read More at Huffington Post AOL 

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