Verizon employees begin their second week of strikes today, making their outrage over the company outsourcing more jobs overseas known to Verizon executives and the public.
Close to 40,000 employees are on strike throughout the East Coast, and hundreds of them are taking their turns picketing outside of the Verizon Federal campus on Loudoun County Parkway in Ashburn and a Verizon office on East Market Street in Leesburg.
The standoff comes as the company failed to reach a new agreement with two labor unions— the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers—by the deadline set by the unions more than eight months after their contracts expired.
Gayle Faulconer, a service technician for Verizon for 16 years, has spent most of the past week walking up and down Market Street in Leesburg, holding a sign that reads “CWA on Strike for Good Jobs at Verizon.” She said the key issues on the minds of employees are the company’s decision to send jobs overseas, temporarily assign employees to work four months away from their families and reassigning some employees to jobs 70 miles away from their homes.
“All of this is basically quality of life stuff,” Faulconer said. “You hear on the media a lot that it’s about pay. It’s not about the pay. It’s about treating people right and finding an agreement that’s fair to everybody.”
She and her colleagues want the agreement to be fair for the company, too, she said, but Verizon can afford to be a better employer. Last year, Verizon reported total revenues of $131.6 billion. “We’re talking a lot of money, so it’s not like we’re being unreasonable.”