Striking Verizon Workers Rally Downtown

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Verizon workers nationwide are on strike, including roughly 12,000 local employees.

The walkout began over the weekend after negotiations failed.

A large protest was held at 8 a.m. outside of Verizon’s downtown headquarters.

Seventh Avenue and William Penn Place were turned into a raging sea of red.

“We have to ask the question, ‘When is enough, enough?’ They are trying to make their money on our backs. This is nothing but pure and simple corporate greed,” Union Negotiator Sandy Kmetyk said.

The gathering spilled into the streets at times. Striking workers also made it difficult for people trying to enter the building by blocking their paths.

At one point, a Verizon service van was surrounded by angry strikers.

“They’re asking us to take a $300 a week pay cut. And then on top of that, pay another $300 a month in benefits. That puts us on welfare,” Bob Annan said.

The key issues are wages and benefits. The company is asking for concession, while the union says Verizon is making record profits.

Kmetyk: There was no bargaining that took place at that table, only demands by them. They wouldn’t move. We’ve offered solutions.

Ross Guidotti: How long are you prepared to sit out?

Kmetyk: As long as it takes. One day longer than they are.

The company released a statement which said, “It is regrettable that the unions have decided to walk away from the table instead of continuing to work through the issues. We will continue to do our part to reach a new contract that reflects today’s economic realities.”

Currently there are 45,000 workers on strike and 10,000 managers attempting to do their jobs.


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  • luckyguy

    Verizon is a joke….

  • Anonymous

    Stand strong

  • Union Proud !!

    YES, STAND STRONG COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA !!!!…don’t let corporate greed (Verizon) take everything you have worked for / fought for !!….

  • gordy

    who cares everyone of these people can be replaced

  • Ang

    Gordy…Yes they can be replaced…by a worker in India or the Philipines…..and just remember…so can your job…..Stand strong guys!


    Gordy obviously is UNEDUCATED!!!! Come see me & I’d be more that happy to explain…

  • Dave

    Again just another reason why unions are a total joke. Let’s neglect our work so we can demand more from a company. How insane is that?

    • AWO

      unions workers built this country, you have the benefits you have today because of them..they are not a joke. Do you honestly think they would rather go without a paycheck and stand in a picket line than be out there working. They are sacrificing so that they can have basic benefits and provide for their families. You need a reality check on what the real world is like.

      • Dave

        Yes unions did help this country many decades ago you have no argument with me on that point. But to say unions are still good in absurd. Just look to what the damn unions did to our American auto companies. They are driving them to the damn ground and have been for a few decades.

    • Anonymous

      Dave its obvious you have never been in a union.. or else you would not be saying they are a total joke.. Demands.. You don’t have a CLUE on what you are talking about.. There aren’t any demands by the union.. Just by the company.. Would you take almost a 40% decrease in pay..I DON’T THINK SO!!! Think about it.. if you were making $10.00 an hour that would drop you to $6.00.. Would you be able to live on that??? People live by the means they make.. ILet me give you an example in case you don’t understand.. If you were a millionaire.. would you live in a $30,000 house.. DON’T THINK SO.. so before you make comments.. think about what you say!!

  • CWA Spouse

    Stay strong CWA members…we are proud of you for taking a stand against the corporate greed at Verizon. What the uneducated don’t understand is that these men & women work hard in below zero temps and in dangerous conditions every day to make sure the Corporate pig gets paid. All they are asking is for a fair wage and benefits, the current negotiations are Verizon wanting to take things away…they are not looking for extras just the basics that they deserve..if more workers were union our jobs wouldn’t be moved overseas….Stay Strong CWA- Unity!!!

    • Harley

      Do you work or just sit at home on your arse cranking them out while your spouse earns the money?


      CWA SPOUSE, what about the union greed? If you don’t like the cold find another job. Remember, that corporate pig pays your bills, not your unionized spouse. What is a fair wage and benefit package?!? you fix telephone poles and want to live in mansions!!!!!! is that a FAIR WAGE?!!!? And if we had more union workers we’d either be at 15% unemployment or all of our jobs would be overseas!!!!!! I’ll give you two examples. GM and every state municipal service, GM went bankrupt because of the union and the state municpalities all in the red because of their unions. I got an idea, why doesnt the CWA run verizon into the ground like the auto workers ran GM into the ground and then the tax payers can bail Verizon out too.

      • verizon splicer

        tThe corporate pig does not pay our bills our customers pay our bils and in turn our bills pay theirs so stop and think before you speak because you fall int that bill paying food chain. Unlees that is that you are livng off of our government.

  • Union Proud !!

    Gordy is a moron !!!….former CWA member here…worked for VZ….I support you, and am Union Proud / Union Strong !!!….hang in there !

    • Harley

      Uinion Proud means you call off at will, come in late on occassion because you can, maybe talk about your personal business all darn day when you know there is work to be done. Keep being proud my friend because I smell India and China taking your job the same way Homestead Steel went out of business. Keep yapping and demanding or getting workmans comp for your hangnail and we will see how middle class you really are. I will be more than happy to accept your welfare/foodstamp card for payment when you enter my store.

      • Anonymous

        Harley just like Dave.. you don’t have a CLUE what you are talking about.. You only hear mformation from your local news & what Verizon wants you to hear..Since you are a business owner.. I’m SURE you would not want to lose almost 40% of your salary a year.. JUST SAYING!!

  • Miquel

    Is this the same union that subbed work to the Mexicans who almost blew up a neighborhood in Irwin? Stand strong my brother……hermano!!!!

    • Mayor of GBD

      They DID blow up a couple houses! There is no such thing as “almost” blowup a house.

    • bb

      Miquel…basic info the union cannot sub out work..the corporation is responsible for that..but i’m sure you already knew that. The union wants the work for their employees, it’s the corporation that would rather pay 1/2 the money and no benefits and sub the work out.

      • Dave

        Blame outsourcing where it all started in the early 90s. Bill Clinton and NAFTA. Because of it we have lost over 20 million jobs.

  • Earnestine

    One ringy dingy…….

  • meskndave

    Corporate greed is what landed Outsourcing! When was the last time you had a GOOD experience talking to customer service? How well did your efforts to communicate your issue get understood? How LONG did you spend on the phone praying your ordeal would be resolved and furthermore how long did you wait till you saw the end results? Verizon is no different and would rather and HAS outsourced your DSL customer service and at one time if not currently your DSL Billing as well. Same as AT&T only to name the top two GIANTS. News Flash it’s counter productive to outsource & if the CWA doesn’t fight to keep our American Jobs paying American Money so we can live in our American Houses and fruitfully support our financial status. Open your eyes people if we lay down we only give in to Corporate Greed and will be shoved to the bottom of the food chain. Stay Strong & FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!

  • Gordy for Union Boss

    why then didn’t the union brotherhood STOP the Mexicans from doing work that should be done by their highly skilled union brothers?

  • Common Sense

    Gordy, just how can they stop the Mexicans from taking the jobs. They are not the police and they did cannot hire or fire them.

    Stand strong!

    • Mayor of GBD

      Simple Common Sense (aka dipstick) work harder!

    • Anonymous

      Gordy just don’t know what he is talking about Common Sense..

  • bill

    Lets get some basic facts. Fact 1 Verizon was given 1.6 BILLION DOLLARS by our government which as we all know is all ready running the largest deficet ever. Fact 2 Verizon made 19.5 BILLION DOLLARS profit over the last 4 years. Over the last 4 years they paid 258 million to thier top 5 ceo’s. 81 million to the top guy [55 thousand dollars a day]. Fact 3 they are making record profits. Fact 4 if we agree to take these concessions your bill is not going to go down. The truth is your bill will keep going up and your service will get worse. One other fact, 10% of the people in the USA have 93% of the wealth. This is because of CORPERATE GREED. Dave, Harly, and Gordy I ask you which percentage do you fall into. Think about that before you choose a side!

    • Dave

      That is a cop out and you know it. The rich are rich because they do deserve. I do well with my non union job. I have zero debt, I live in an apartment, and I actually own my own car.

      You mention that 10 percent own 93 percent of the wealth but NEVER ONCE MENTION that they pay nearly all of the taxes!!!!! You are a sick person for blaming the rich. Because by the standards set froth by out government the rich create all of the jobs in this country!

  • Mayor of GBD

    Equally proud to be Management. I pay 85% of my health care costs (over $600 per month)….time to pony up and get off the free ride!

    FACT – Companies exist to make a profit….get over it.

    If Union is such a good deal, why are ony around 25% of the workers in America unionized? I guess the other 75% of us are stupid?


    • Dave

      That is not true about the percentage of workers that are union. The real percentage is about 12 percent.

  • db

    Why do you feel you deserve free health health care ? I asked school teacher why they feel they deserve free health care and they can’t answer the question. I come from a union family. My father is retired from IBEW local 5. He said these guys need to knock it off and get back to work. Jobs are hard to come by.


    Yeah the jobs are hard to come by. Guess what, Verizon was still hiring up to the strike, and they are having a really hard time finding qualified people to take these jobs. They ARE NOT easy, most people fail the test just to qualify for training. Also, to whoever said we can call off at will, Verizon is a very difficult company to work for. The company wants to take my 1 sick day a year, down to 0 becasue I have been with the company less than 2 years. I took 2 days off this entire year because I went to the hospital with chest pains. I got reprimanded for it and I wasn’t paid. The metrics we have to deal with are almost unbearable, and I truly don’t think any of the people commenting on these forums can do the job themselves. I don’t think we DESERVE free benefits, but don’t take that away from us when you are also trying to take away job security, vacation time, sick time, overtime pay, pension, the list goes on and on. The reality is, each employee would be giving up an average of $20,000 a year out of their paychecks. WOULD YOU BE HAPPY IF YOUR COMPANY TOLD YOU TO TAKE A $20,000 PAY CUT????

    • Anonymous

      Right ON CWA STRONG!!! I’m not a union person.. however fight for what you have fought for all these years..

  • db

    CWA STRONG, How did you come up with 20,000 dollars. Are you an hourly employee or are you salaried? If youre hourly, and you used your sick days, then you don’t get paid for taking the day off, thats business 101. Who said jobs are secure, who said verizon owes you a job and a pension? Would you rather have a pay cut/benefits cut or no job at all? If your union wasn’t so demanding, maybe you wouldn’t have to deal with benefit cuts! My comapny is a good company. They owe me nothing. They give me an opportunity for health insurance which I pay 230 a month to have. They pick up the rest. I have a 401k they match up to 6%. I have 5 sick daysand 2 weeks vacation every year. Make 52,000 a year, and I don’t get questioned when I take a sick day, My company isn’t union either. Remember there is good and bad with everything. There are good unions and bad unions. There is also good non union shops. Remember, Verizon is there to pay their stock holders and make a profit not provide you with a job and a pension! If you are so unhappy, go work for someone else. I no if it wasn’t for the unions back in the days, we wouldn’t have what we have today. I respect that. Enough is enough.

  • Anonymous

    Get rid of some of your managers, 10,000 is over kill

  • Dave

    The other day I just happen to drive by one of these Verizon strikes and it hit me like a ton of bricks. These Union workers don’t have any idea how damn well they have it. We have a real unemployment percentage of almost 20 percent and they are bellyaching about what is little things to the millions who are out of work.

    Remember that union workers next time you go out to picket.

  • Linda

    If the union big wigs would stop giving millions to the Democrats the workers wouldn’t have to put in so much. Maybe back when it started unions were a good thing but not anymore.

  • Bobby

    Everyone is upset about the union workers, how much are managment and the top executives making ? Are they also being asked to give up what they are used to having?

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