Recently, Verizon employees went on strike after negotiations failed on Monday, and strikers have begun to organize demonstrations and call out companies and individuals who cross the picket lines on a recently made Facebook page.
The page has already gained more than 5,400 members of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers with an aim to educate employees on the issue and while creating a solidarity among workers for organizing demonstrations.
“As far as I know, this is a new phenomenon,” said Doreen Davis, a labor attorney for law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius. “In a big strike like this, we haven’t seen this kind of activity on social media.”
The page contains documents posted that call for boycott of specific businesses such as Pepsi and Fed-Ex, which continue to do business with Verizon along with calls to avoid restaurants run by Darden, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden and The Capital Grille because the chief executive is a Verizon director.
The page also listed out “scabs,” or employees who cross the picket lines. The page of names have been taken down, but some of the names still appear in the comments displayed under where the document used to be posted. What’s more concerning is that the dispute is turning uglier with Verizon claiming acts of sabotage, harassment, and large picket lines that block the entrance to its facilities. The company has won injunctions in New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to limit the unions picketing activities and is in court in Massachusetts and New Jersey today for similar motions.
Verizon claims that as of today it has encountered more than 90 acts of sabotage against network facilities, some of which have temporarily affected service to thousands of customers in certain regions. The company is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for such acts of sabotage while working closely with the FBI to investigate these incidents.
“Verizon urge strikers to express their views in peaceful fashion and in accordance with the law,” said Verizon Chief Security Officer Mike Mason. “Some are engaging in criminal intimidation of Verizon employees, and we will not tolerate that.”
Given the number of employees and the range of their locations on strike, the sabotages are expected to take place, as these incidents have played a part in prior work stoppages.
Candice Johnson, a representative for the CWA, said she was looking into the Facebook pages. She also urged restraint, but from Verizon, noting there have been reports that replacement workers and managers have been “too aggressive” with their driving, and said there have been two dozen reports of picketers getting struck by vehicles.
It sounds as though the more this continues on the more trouble this will cause for their customers, who will be less sympathetic to the strikers cause. While I have never personally ben on strike before, when employees do go on strike for a company that is providing me with a service, I am more agitated at the strikers when things don’t work as they should rather than the company itself. Does anyone else feel this way? Let me know what your guys take on this whole Verizon strike is in the comments section.