Democratic presidential hopeful and self-described socialist [crscore]Bernie Sanders[/crscore] condemned Verizon during a protest Monday of company workers discontent with management.
Verizon and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) are struggling to arrive at a new labor contract. The new agreement will impact upwards of 39,000 unionized workers. Workers have held several rallies and protests to express their opposition to how the company is handling the negotiations. At their latest rally, they were joined by Sanders, who urged Verizon to negotiate a fair contract.
“All over this country, Verizon is a metaphor,” Sanders told the crowd, according to Business Insider. “You’ve got corporate America making huge profits, their CEOs getting huge compensation packages. And then with all of their money, what they do is hire lawyers in order to make it harder for workers to survive in this country.”
During his speech, Sanders addressed several key issues. The main being allegation Verizon has illegally taken steps to stop workers from unionizing. The Associated Press reports the union has claimed the company fired Bianca Cunningham over expressing her right to organize. Verizon disputes the claim. Sanders also demands Verizon create more broadband networks, an issue the union is pushing as well.
Sanders also met privately with Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). His campaign thus far has very much appealed to union members. While local unions are very vocal in their support, their national counterparts fear Sanders is not electable.
With the announcement Vice President Joe Biden will not run, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is begining to gain traction with the labor movement. Hillary has also spoken with workers struggling with their company. Clinton gave a speech at a Culinary Workers Union protest Oct. 12 outside Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.
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