Public support for strikers grows along the East Coast

As nearly 40,000 striking Verizon workers prepare to enter their third cycle without a paycheck to feed their families, communities throughout the East Coast are showing their support for the largest strike in recent history.

At the Verizon picket line in Cairo, NY, the Communications Workers of America endorsed Congressional candidate and law professor Zephyr Teachout in the 19th Congressional District and State Senate candidate and Palatine Town Supervisor Sara Niccoli in the 46th State Senate District. Teachout expressed pride over the endorsement and her full support for the strikers:

“I am so proud to stand with CWA in the fight for working people against powerful interests. We cannot allow corporations like Verizon to disrespect the workers and communities who build their profits. This campaign is about lifting up the voice of people who have been shut out of the political process, and I will work hard to earn every vote,” said Teachout.

Pennsylvania lawmakers, concerned that Verizon will close its Uniontown office and force workers to commute as much as 80 miles to other locations, have gone so far as to buy airtime on the radio for striking workers to share their story with listeners.

Cities in Massachusetts are formalizing their support for Verizon workers on strike to save middle class jobs. In Waltham, MA, the city council passed a resolution supporting the striking Verizon workers.

The council passed a resolution Monday night to support the striking workers and avoid using Verizon services. The city will not enter into any new contracts with Verizon and review any current contracts or obligations with the company and end them, if permitted by contract terms, until the strike has ended.

“Verizon is trying to replace good, hometown jobs, with cheap labor,” said city councilor John McLaughlin, the main sponsor of the resolution.

The cities of Braintree and Quincy, MA also passed similar resolutions last week.

James Parrott, Chief Economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, pens a column in Salon calling out Verizon’s anti-worker policies and failure to bring much-needed high-speed broadband to American families and businesses:

These strikers are courageously standing up to fight for a fair economy that supports middle-class workers and their communities; supporting these Verizon workers is crucial if we are to begin making the real changes needed to fix our economy and rein in excessive corporate power that undermines the broadly shared prosperity that once built the American middle class.

In the Albany Times Union, columnist Rob Hoffman expresses support for striking Verizon workers:

“At the end of the day, I’m a union man at heart, and so I will be rooting for the working class heroes picketing their hearts out against the ‘swells’ at Verizon.”

And the strikers are still going strong as we reach the one month mark. See coverage of the strike in Pennsylvania, where protestors gather daily outside of Verizon wireless stores. Joe Kincaid, a retired Verizon service technician and union officer for CWA Local 13000
in Pennsylvania says workers have toughed it out through two paycheck cycles because the strike is about more than just a fight between workers and their employers:

“We all live in the community,” Kincade said. “For me, it’s not just a fight at Verizon. If we can win, then everyone can win along with us.”

Mike Sommers, President of CWA Local 2100, tells ABC the hand for workers will only grow stronger as the strike drags on thanks to building support from the public: “If the public gets behind us and we stay as strong as we are right now, we won’t have a much longer strike.”