• 45,000 Verizon Workers On Strike

    After negotiations between the telecommunications company, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers fell through, more than 45,000 employees on the East Coast went on strike. It's only the second day and there are already reports of violence on both sides.
    Verizon is looking to tie pay increases to performance review and require union workers to contribute to health-plan premiums. The company is also seeking to freeze pensions at the end of the year, eliminate the sickness and death benefit program, cut in half the sickness disability benefits from 52 weeks to 26 weeks and reduce sick time, according to a memo signed by William Huber, president of IBEW, Local 827.

    The concessions equate to $1 billion if the loss of sick days and other benefits are factored in, Johnson said. That’s roughly $20,000 per worker.

    Asking employees to throw in a bit on their health plan premiums may seem reasonable until you realize how shifting more and more contributions onto employees is a great way for companies to weasel out of funding their health plans. And these other cuts may seem reasonable until you remember that nearly every company that scaled back in this regard ended up making record profits.

    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.

    Meanwhile, the Dow dropped 634 points, as a result of the fallout from the S&P credit downgrade. Gee, I thought those Teabaggers were trying to shrink government enough to drown in a bathtub, not the economy.