Verizon Workers to Picket MoffettNathanson Summit

Steve Forbes takes aim at union demands in 'USA Today' op ed

Striking Verizon workers say they will picket outside the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York Thursday morning (May 19), where a Verizon exec will be speaking.

Verizon wireline workers (including FiOS) in six MidAtlantic states represented by CWA and IBEW went on strike April 13 citing, among other things, that Verizon was not expanding FiOS and instead shedding workers who installed the video service.

In an op ed in USA Today, Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of business journalism empire Forbes Media, argued that Verizon workers had walked out on a salary and benefits package that most workers could only dream about--$130,000-$160,00 per year, he said, in salary and benefits. "Walking away from such an offer, especially in this economy, is lunacy," he said.

He pointed out that the two sides agreed to further negotiations, but put the impetus on "Big Labor" to take a "more realistic approach."

One of the striking Verizon workers told Multichannel News in an e-mail. "We, as a union, would find it very hard to collectively agree and vote for any contract that includes concessions and retrogressive demands. We are a strong and financially powerful company.... We shouldn't have to fear for our future now. We are invested in Verizon."