Friday, August 19, 2011

Verizon Strike Goes On

The strike continues. Here's some interesting details pulled from a Steven Greenhouse New York Times piece published on August 14:

  • Verizon says its unionized workers average $70,000 a year before overtime and $91,000 with overtime. But union officials say only a small percentage of workers earn that much with overtime, an amount they say would require hundreds of hours of it. 
  • Company officials note that the average U.S. worker earns $23 an hour, translating to $48,000 a year for a full-time worker. 
  • Union officials say Verizon's proposed health insurance changes would cost some workers $6,800 more each year, and its overall proposals would cost workers $20,000 on average each year.
  • In addition to the health insurance changes, Verizon has called for a pension freeze, reduction of sick days and elimination of all job security provisions -- a proposal workers fear will lead to far more layoffs and outsourcing, especially of call center workers.
Doug Anderson, a Verizon technician for 15 years is quoted in the piece:
"What we make is just a living wage in the New York area. On what I earn, my family can't even afford to live where I work -- Westchester County (NY). And on what we earn, it's hard to send a child through college."
The estimated median household income for Westchester County, New York in 2009 was $77,189 and the mean price for a detached house was $776,277.

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