Our Opinion: Workers' fight for their jobs is everyone's fight
Verizon is a profitable corporation that owes a lot to the workers who have made it profitable. After a strike of about six weeks, we hope justice has been done for them.
Verizon and the two striking unions reached an agreement on a four-year contract Friday. Workers are expected to return next week although they still must get the details of the pact and vote on it.
The Pittsfield City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to support striking workers, as have community and state bodies across the country. Maybe that made a difference.
About two dozen members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2324 attended the Council meeting, and as Christine Casino, the local's treasurer, told councilors, the issue was not about salaries. The 36,000 striking workers were opposed to Verizon's effort to change employment rules to make it easier to outsource jobs. The loss of jobs overseas in pursuit of lower wages has economically devastated communities.
While Verizon CEO Lowell C. McAdam wrote that "nostalgia for the rotary phone era won't save American jobs" in a snide post on LinkedIn, his company's workers want to participate in the future not live in the past. If Verizon could overcome its sluggishness in building out its broadband network it would assuredly be able to provide good jobs for even more American workers while boosting profits.
It was encouraging to hear members of the City Council and of the community speak out in support of their neighbors. This was everyone's fight, as when jobs go overseas they leave empty homes and empty desks in schools behind them.
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