As of midnight on Saturday, 45,000 Verizon workers have gone on strike. The first thing I thought when I heard this news was, "Wow, these people are brave! With millions unemployed, and the economy once again slumping, they are risking everything to make their point." But looking at the story more closely, it looks like Verizon has been banking on that inherent risk to hold a Tea Party-esque line in negotiations. Verizon, whose CEO has raked in $81 million over the last few years, insists on the following terms:
- Continued contracting out of work to low-wage contractors, which means more outsourcing of good jobs overseas.
- Eliminating disability benefits for workers injured while on the job.
- Elimination of all job security provisions.
- Eliminating paid sick days for new hires and limiting them to no more than five for any workers.
- Freezing pensions for current workers and eliminating them for future employees.
- Replacing the current high-quality health care plan with a high-deductible plan requiring up to $6,800 in additional costs.
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