May 18, 2012
Washington, D.C. -- National Labor Relation Board Region 2 has authorized the issuance of a complaint against Verizon Communications for its actions in disciplining and firing workers following the two-week strike by union members last August.
Regional Director Karen Fernbach authorized the complaint for 58 of the 63 cases brought by the Communications Workers of America, following an investigation in Verizon’s actions.
“This is tremendous news for workers who have faced harsh discipline, even firing, from Verizon, that was completely unwarranted,” said Ron Collins, CWA chief of staff.
“This fight has been about economic justice from the beginning. Some 45,000 CWA and IBEW members spent two weeks on the picketline to force this $100 billion company to bargain fairly, not continue to demand givebacks of $1 billion a year.
“Progressive allies and the 99 percent spring coalition are standing with us as workers continue to fight against Verigreedy Verizon and corporate greed across our country. We won’t stop now,” he said.
Jennifer Travis, a 15-year Verizon employee in Pittsburgh, Pa., never once was disciplined or written up, but was unfairly fired last August by Verizon.
Here’s her story: “A couple days after the strike began, I took my husband and 2 of my 3 kids with me to the picket line. For us, being union is all in the family!
“There were a lot of us on the picket line that day. Management was bringing scabs across the line to work our jobs. We were loud and boisterous, but peaceful. The company says that I assaulted a manager. Those are outrageous and false allegations.
“Mine was not an isolated incident. Several of my brothers and sisters were fired or disciplined last August for similarly trumped up charges. What many of us have in common is our highly visible status as union leaders and activists. It makes me wonder if the company retaliated against us in an effort to intimidate other members who would consider standing up for their union in the future. If true, that’s flat out bullying and it’s disgusting.”
The regional director’s action is the first step of the NLRB process. Now Region 2 will seek to negotiate with Verizon to settle these cases.