By Penny McQuaig

On Thursday, April 22, 2010, Verizon announced that it had come to an agreement with the CWA EAST UNIONS on the IPP/Surplus issue, even though they had previously advised the members that their union had betrayed them and that there would be no further offers.  (Go to www.cwa1101.org/ for full details).  I spoke about the reaction by the union members to the first offer, however I will now speak about how the members are expected to react about the new offer and point out to you how certain words are used to educe a certain reaction.

In the letter sent by Verizon, they tell you that ” The previously announced forced reduction is part of the company’s overall plan to reduce costs and realign its Wireline and VSO operations in order to address changing market conditions in a highly competitive environment.”  What they haven’t told you is that the loss of  “competition” is happening, not due to surplus and technology, but to the consolidation of companies and to deregulation of the markets. Technology has always produced jobs, not diminished them.  The corporation has become to the [middle-class] union worker the killer of the American Dream.  There can be no middle-class if there is no American Dream.  If there is no middle-class, there can be no democracy.  America becomes [has become] an Aristocracy {corporatocracy} that benefits only a small elite  who are organized around corporate power and inherited wealth.  It is a con game where the greedy use politics and philosophy (rhetoric) as a cover for their thievery of our common resources as a logical explanation for their growing wealth and society’s growing poverty. They are taking all of the wealth that we (the worker) helped to create.  By deregulating the market, they are able to ship jobs overseas, and reincorporate their companies offshore to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes.  They lobby our legislature for tax breaks and fight against inheritance tax and insist that they are only playing the game by the rules [the rules that they bought and paid politicians to make in their favor].  They are predators. 

They prey upon the American people by enacting agreements that they explain to us is good for “competition” , such as NAFTA(North American Free Trade Agreement) which lowers wages for the American workers and does nothing to create well-paying jobs.  It has created a record trade deficit that they no longer try to defend, they just moved on to the next agreement, CAFTA(Central American Free Trade Agreement), passed in 2005, which allowed corporate America to reap huge profits from the low wages they get by having non-union workers in non-democratic countries.  They are the robber barons of the nineteenth century. 

Without regulation, they now own the media (the vehicle) in which they disseminate exacted information to us by repetition.  They get us to agree to protect their wealth by telling us that the free market{businesses get to do what they want} is the way to create wealth, and that will create jobs-trickle down economics-thus sustaining the middle-class.  There is no such thing as a “free market”   It is part of the “smaller government” con game that screws the worker.  Without government there can be no voice of the people.  In a democracy, the rules are made by We the People, through our elections in our government and through union negotiations with the CEOs. 

In order for our union to be able to negotiate we must have a strong, educated and organized union that works only on the behalf of its members.  If that is the criteria for unions, then I would say that the members have got to also be informed and hungry for information at all times.  You will never be able to fight this war [against the middle-class] without knowing the history of union and what has happened to weaken us.

Know that Verizon offers nothing, union negotiates for what we rightfully deserve!  Don’t let the corporations convince you that you are not worthy of every dime!!!

For those who feel that the union is no longer worthy of standing up for because union is not strong, I am here to tell you that that can only be true if you are no longer strong!


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