Standing with Workers Against 'Corporate Greed,' Bernie Joins Verizon Picket Line

October 5, 2020 0 By PENTICTONLAWYERS

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders took a break from campaigning to join striking workers on a picket line in New York City on Wednesday after Verizon employees launched what could be the largest work stoppage the country has seen in a generation.

As Sanders approached the podium outside a Manhattan Verizon office, the striking workers erupted in cheers and chants of “Bernie! Bernie!” before the Vermont senator launched into his speech.

“Thank you for your courage in standing up for justice against corporate greed,” Sanders told the crowd.  “Verizon is one of the largest most profitable corporations in this country. But they refuse to sit down and negotiate a fair contract.”

“They want to take away the health benefits that you have earned,” he said. “They want to outsource to decent paying jobs. They want to give their CEO $20 million a year in compensation.”

“In other words,” he continued, “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 are standing up for millions of Americans.”

“And you’re telling corporate America they cannot have it all,” Sanders added to loud applause.

Sanders has made reforming the country’s “rigged” economy a pillar of his presidential campaign. During the speech, the candidate acknowledged “what a difficult decision it is to go out on strike” given the “price” the workers’ families would pay.

“But you have chosen to stand up for dignity, for justice, and to take on an enormously powerful special interest,” he declared. “So on behalf of every worker in America that is facing the same kind of pressure, thank you for what you are doing. We are going to win this thing!”

Watch his speech below:

Roughly 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) unions launched the strike Wednesday as Verizon employees from Virginia to Massachusetts protested the multinational’s “devastating” cuts. As Common Dreams reported earlier this week, these measures include freezing pensions, slashing benefits, offshoring jobs to low-paying nations, and refusing to negotiate with workers.