This video from the USA says about itself:
Verizon Strike: Day One
14 April 2016
It was an incredible first day. A huge thank you to everyone who came out on picket lines to support our fight!
We will stand together. We will win.
By Conrad Landin in Britain:
Wednesday 27th April 2016
WHEN Charlie Cerrato joined US telecoms giant Verizon two decades ago, the company was a closed shop.
Strong unions meant good pay and conditions for he and his colleagues and he became vice-chair of his Communication Workers of America local (branch) in Essex, New Jersey.
Now, the company is facing a strike of up to 80,000 workers as it seeks to slash pensions and benefits and tighten conditions.
And Charlie, who left Verizon in 2007 and now works for Sky in London and our own Essex, says workers in Britain should be worried too.
Verizon is so determined to bust the union that they have sold off labour-intensive infrastructure in a bid to reduce the workforce.
“They’ve broken their promises [to city authorities and customers] because they don’t want labour to be doing the work,” he says. He suggests Verizon rolled out new fibre-optic cables “in all the wealthy areas and then stopped when all the wealthy areas were done.”
And to pre-empt the current strikes, which have seen 40,000 workers on the US east coast down tools so far but could soon affect twice that number, they brought in a prepared posse of scab labour. “People’s lives are in danger — these temporary workers are holding up high-voltage cables with their hands,” Charlie says.
On Monday the conference of our communications union CWU passed a motion expressing solidarity with the US workers and agreeing to publicise the issue among workers in Britain.
Verizon is the largest telecoms firm in the US and its executives take pay packages in the tens of millions.
Charlie fears that both its British division and its rivals will take inspiration if the firm is successful in crushing the union in this dispute. One issue over there is Verizon’s attempt to expand an existing practice of transferring workers across the country “at a whim.” Telecoms workers here are reporting increasing use of such practices.
“All these telecommunications companies are multinationals,” CWU Greater London combined branch official Maria Exall says.
“The way [Verizon] management have dealt with skilled workers is a warning sign for where we are in the CWU.”