Monday, August 15, 2011

American Corpocracy: Verizon Strikes

The American Corpocracy is coming even further into fruition as the government becomes involved with the Verizon workers strike.

For the past two weeks approximately, Verizon workers have been striking ever since Verizon
laid out its intention to rein in pensions, require workers to contribute at least $100 to their health-insurance premiums and make it easier to fire members of the CWA [Communications Workers of America] and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which together represent about 45,000 Verizon workers, mainly in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. [1]

Verizon wants to do this even though they pay no taxes at all and the fact that "the company's revenue rose 2.8 percent to $27.5 billion in the second quarter [of this year]." [2] This is a blatant crackdown on unions in the name of profit

In response to the striking, Verizon has accused strikers of sabotage, saying that "wires had been cut in some places, causing the loss of phones and Internet service for residences and businesses" [3] and decided to bring in the FBI, with Special Agent Bryan Travers stating that they were "'looking into the matter from a security standpoint'" since critical infrastructure had been damaged. However, CWA spokeswoman Candice Johnson "accused Verizon replacement workers and managers of driving vehicles into picketing crowds, striking more than a dozen pickets" and also noted that in the past, Verizon has been known to "order replacement workers to commit acts of sabotage on their own infrastructure to frame strikers and curry favor with the public." [4]

At the heart of this, Verizon is having workers suffer for the effects of the free market. Overall Verizon's "profitability had been declining for a decade, along with the number of landline customers." This decrease in the amount of landline customers is due to
the simple fact is there are fewer and fewer landline customers. The industry says 27 percent of Americans no longer have landline phones -- a number that has jumped in the past few years. They've moved solely to cellular service, a booming business for Verizon and other market giants. [5]
The landline business means a lot to Verizon as they invested more than $626 million in landline infrastructure in Maryland and Washington D.C. last year [6] and they want to keep it profitable. 

It has been reported that the New York Police Department "is using crucial anti-terror resources to protect Verizon workers and equipment during a massive strike against the telecom giant." [7] Which must lead one to ask the question: Exactly why is the NYPD using anti-terror resources to make protect loyal Verizon workers and Verizon equipment? It very well may be that just like the FBI, the NYPD is now being used as a tool of the corporate elite to protect their interests.


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