email from Bernie Sanders, 4/21/16
Sisters and Brothers,
The CEO of Verizon makes almost $20 million a year in compensation. He leads one of the most profitable companies in the country.
Yet Verizon wants to take away employees’ health benefits. Verizon wants to outsource decent-paying jobs. Verizon wants to avoid paying federal income tax. And right now, Verizon is refusing to sit down and negotiate a fair contract with its employees.
In other words, Verizon is just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans. But this time, Verizon’s employees are fighting back.
Thousands of very brave employees of Verizon and Verizon Wireless are on strike until they can get a fair contract. They made a very difficult decision that puts their families at risk — but it’s a choice they made to stand up for justice against corporate greed.
I’m asking you today to stand up and tell the CEO of Verizon that you think Verizon employees deserve a fair contract that protects health benefits, guarantees fair pay, and stops outsourcing. Click here to add your name in support of Verizon employees.
Add Your Name »
Twice last week in New York City I stood with Verizon workers in the streets. I did so because they’re doing something very brave: they’re standing up not just for themselves, but for the millions of Americans who don’t have a union. Continue reading
By Michael Arria / AlterNet, April 13, 2016
Approximately 39,000 Verizon landline and cable workers on the East Coast walked off the job Wednesday morning after working without a contract since August.
Approximately 39,000 Verizon landline and cable workers on the East Coast walked off the job Wednesday morning after working without a contract since August. An agreement was not reached with the Verizon (NYSE:VZ), largest U.S. wireless communications service provider. It is the biggest U.S work stoppage since 2011, when a Verizon strike lasted two weeks.
Bernie Sanders joined the picket line with workers on Wednesday morning in Brooklyn. The Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate said that Verizon was one of the richest and most powerful corporations in this country, “but they refuse to sit down and negotiate a fair contract.” Sanders told the energized group of picketers:
“They want to take away the health benefits that you have earned. They want to outsource decent paying jobs. They want to give their CEO $20 million a year in compensation. They want to avoid paying federal income taxes. In other words, this is just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans. Today you are standing up not just for justice for Verizon workers, you’re standing up for millions of Americans who don’t have a union….”
continue reading and see video at AlterNet
by Sean Kitchen, Raging Chicken Press, March 15, 2016
With the start of the 2016 budget season underway, raising the minimum wage has taken center stage. Governor Wolf touched raising the minimum wage during his blistering budget address to the General Assembly. He then signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for all state workers to $10.15 an hour, and then went on a statewide tour advocating for minimum wage increases. These gestures raised wages for roughly 450 state employees and sparked dialogue on an issue it that has not received a lot of legislative action.
A number of bills calling for increasing the wage were introduced in the House and Senate at the beginning of the 2015-2016 legislative session, but the issue has seen little action since the Senate Labor and Industry Committee hearing held last May. After Governor Wolf announced the wage increases for all state workers, Steven Miskin, top spokesman for House Republican leadership, told the Post Gazette that the “minimum wage is and was intended as a ‘starting’ wage or ‘training’ wage.” and that “it is and was never meant to serve as a ‘living’ wage.”
One of the main organizations opposing a minimum wage increase is the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, a trade organization that lobbies for the hospitality and tourism industry. The PRLA held their 28th annual lobby day on the hill, and hundreds of lobbyists and members from the organization descended onto the capitol….
continue reading at Raging Chicken Press
by John Oliver Mason (Philadelphia), The Mason Missile, 12/26/15
Greetings, and best wishes for the New Year!
It has happened-According to a report from the Pew Research Center, the American middle class, once the backbone of the economy, is now in the minority. Persons identifying as “middle class” are finding it more difficult to make ends meet; the numbers of “middle class” has shrunk from 53 percent to 44 percent. According to the Pew survey, the number of people who identify as “lower middle” or “lower’ class has risen to 40 percent, as opposed to 25 percent in February 2008.
Here is the “free market” working its magic – the idea that if we just let the capitalists do their thing, without the government intervening – except to grant tax breaks and repress dissidents, like workers organizing – we would all prosper, and not just stockbrokers and hedge-fund managers. We are returning to the period just after the Civil War, the “Gilded Age,” when capitalists dominated the government and all public discussion, when workers – including the women and children – worked from before sunrise to after sunset, in mines loaded with poisonous gasses and ready to collapse, working for close to nothing and having to pay for the equipment to use for the bosses’ prosperity, watched over by supervisors who had no respect for workers and could shoot them if they got out of line – these are the days we’re returning to. Continue reading