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‘Open Season’: Union Removes Controversial Message Calling for ‘Torture’ of Verizon Managers

Unions representing Verizon workers have appeared to upped the ante on what was already been a heated dispute between labor and management.

Forty-five thousand Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia went on strike earlier this month after the contract for the company's wireline division ended August 6. Workers are in protest to management asking for changes in the contract to strengthen the wireline business which has been in decline for more than a decade. Now some think one Brooklyn CWA post has possibly crossed the line calling for, among other things, torture:

"The voice of a representative encourages members to deal harshly with 'managers and scabs.'

'It is open season. Follow them safely, but when you get to a location, torture them, torture them with chants and noise. Be so loud that they can't concentrate and wish they never got out of bed,' says the recorded voice. Another part of the message states:

'They are trying to break our union. Understand brothers and sisters, we can never let these [expletive] piece of [expletive] pigs break us. So, we are stepping up our efforts.'

The message stopped short of calling for physical violence, but it was removed after a NewsChannel 9 reporter called the CWA for comment. "

A spokesman for Verizon has said that although the behavior of a few striking workers was less than "peaceful,"the company doesn’t believe extreme behavior is something endemic to the striking employees.

When questioned by WSYR in regards to the controversial rallying cry, CWA Political Director Bob Master responded:

"Strikes are difficult. Strikes are tense. But, there is nothing wrong or undemocratic or un-American about militancy. It's part of our tradition. We don't want anyone to violate the law, but people have made sacrifices and we need to fight for what we believe in.”

Militancy as part of our tradition? Do you think that comes off any better?

One last thing…
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