Hundreds of striking Verizon workers sporting red shirts and holding candles while chanting of "No contract, No peace!" and "What's disgusting? Union busting" held a vigil outside the Mendham, New Jersey home of CEO Lowell McAdam. The strikers were bused in by their union in an effort to highlight the differences between executives and blue collar workers.
Since August 7th, 45,000 Verizon workers in the Northeastern part of the country have been on strike. At issue is management's proposed pension freeze and some increased employee contributions for healthcare premiums. Despite the "no contract, no peace" chants, police report that the protest outside the CEO's mansion was held without incident.
The timing of the protest at the CEO's home may be tied to a looming deadline for worker's healthcare benefits. Many walking the picket lines face a loss of coverage by the end of the month. WYSR TV in Syracuse, NY has the story:
While there was no violence at the protest, there is a cost involved. The people of Mendham will be forced to pay for the needed police presence to manage traffic and assure safety at a protest involving hundreds of strikers. This reality was not lost on Verizon, as company spokesman Lee Gierczynski told Fox News:
"Union bosses surely can find more constructive things for their membership to do than waste taxpayer dollars, public safety resources and their membership's time with these cheap theatrics."
As the strike against Verizon wraps up a third week, there does not appear to be a resolution coming any time soon. If anything, tensions seem to be increasing. Earlier this week, The Blaze reported on some curiously violent rhetoric being used by union officials instructing members on how to follow and "torture" Verizon managers.
And just days ago a Facebook profile page of a striking Verizon employee in Massachusetts featured this alleged, union-distributed image:
The profile page of the MA Facebook user has since been edited and the curious image removed.
The next step in the union's playbook is apparently to cripple Verizon's telephone customer support centers. The Washington Times is reporting that CWA union is emailing retirees, directing them to make scripted and coordinated phone calls to service centers in an effort to "tie them up."