AT&T workers demonstrate solidarity to oppose company greed

Three groups of AT&T union workers joined together on February 11 to denounce AT&T’s greed, express their frustration with AT&T’s lack of concern about its workers, and to demand a fair contract.

AT&T  Mobility Orange Contract workers in 35 states, AT&T wireline workers in California and Nevada, and AT&T DirecTV workers rallied for fair contracts at AT&T wireless retail stores and call centers in 36 cities throughout the US. They are members of the Communication Workers of America (CWA).

The three groups are involved in three separate collective bargaining negotiations, and union members are frustrated with the company’s lack of respect for its frontline workers.

“AT&T is underestimating the deep frustration wireless retail, call center, and field workers are feeling right now with its decisions to squeeze workers and customers, especially as the company just reported more than $13 billion in annual profits,” said Dennis Trainor, vice president of CWA District 1. “Nationwide, AT&T workers’ resolve to win has never been stronger, and when telecom workers commit to winning a fair contract, they don’t back down.”

AT&T Mobility Orange Contract wireless technicians, customer service representative, and retail store employees began negotiating in January.

The union says that the company during negotiations has failed to address key concerns of its workers. Subsequently, 93 percent of the union members voted last week to authorize a strike.

“Americans are fed up with giant corporations like AT&T that make record profits but ask workers to do more with less and choose to offshore and outsource jobs,” said Nicole Popis, an AT&T wireless call center worker from Illinois.  “I’ve watched our staff shrink from 200 employees down to 130. I’m a single mother and my son’s about to graduate. I voted yes to authorize a strike because I’m willing to do whatever it takes to show AT&T we’re serious–the company must address these issues and bargain a fair contract.”

Since 2011, AT&T has cut 8,000 call center jobs and moved these jobs to other countries. At 60 percent of its retail stores, the company has outsourced good paying union jobs to private contractors who pay lower wages and provide fewer benefits.

The company is also seeking to increase health insurance premiums for long-term employees and to deny pension benefits for new hires.

Retail store workers want the company to increase their commissions, and all wireless workers want a fair wage increase that recognizes the vital role they play in making the company’s robust profits possible.

Orange Contract Mobility workers were poised to go on strike when their current collective bargaining agreement expired on February 11, but  on the eve of the strike deadline, the two sides agreed to continue bargaining.

While the bargaining continues, the existing collective bargaining agreement remains in effect. The union can still strike after it gives the company a notice of its intention to strike 72 hours before the strike begins.

“The union and company remain very far apart on all issues important to our members,”reads a message from the union’s Bargaining Team to union members. “The Bargaining Team is not here to settle, we are here to fight, and we feel energized by all the mobilization we see across the Orange Contract footprint. AT&T is greedy and their proposals are unfair and appalling.”

AT&T wireline workers in California and Nevada who maintain and repair telecommunications infrastructure and install and repair telecommunications equipment in homes have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement since April.

In addition to being frustrated with AT&T’s lack of responsiveness at the bargaining table, union workers are concerned that AT&T isn’t investing enough in its telecommunications infrastructure.

The consequences of this lack of investment were exposed in January when severe storms hit the West Coast.

According to the union, storm related outages increased by 350 percent during the January storms because the company’s telecommunications  infrastructure was too old. Workers are concerned that outages will be even worse when the next storm hits.

In addition to not investing in infrastructure, union members charge the company with not investing in its workers.

Union members are seeking improvements to their health care benefit, a benefit that was shaped in 2009 while the company was feeling the after shock of the Great Recession. As a result, worker health care costs have increased substantially. For some members, increased health care costs have resulted in stagnant or lower take home pay.

Wireline workers also want a decent pay increase. The union reports that during the last five years, company productivity increased 25 percent, but pay increased only 17 percent.

“The company’s priorities are backwards . . . because the frontline, which is the employees in the call centers, the technicians in the manholes, (and) in the houses, are the ones (who the company) gets (its) profits from,” said Armando Zepeda, an AT&T Premises Technician.

Last year, 95 percent of AT&T’s California and Nevada wireline workers authorized a strike, but the union and company have continued to negotiate.

Like their wireless counterparts, wireline workers could go on strike after giving the company a 72-hour notice.

If both groups go on strike at the same time, AT&T could be facing a strike by 38,000 of its workers.

AT&T DirectTV workers in CWA District 9 are also negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.

They joined CWA last year, and this will be their first contract. Bargaining began on February 8.

In September, CWA reached an agreement on a first contract for 2100 DirectTV workers in the Southeast and Midwest.

That contract provides for the same wage progression schedules in contracts covering CWA members at AT&T in those regions.  Those DirecTV workers also will receive wage increases every six month until they achieve the top of the wage progression scale.

The tentative agreement also provides for health care coverage; disability, savings and pension benefits, a grievance and arbitration process, and coverage under the national transfer plan, among other benefits.

Union joins consumer and environmental groups in suit to stop”one in, two out” executive order

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) joined Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, and the Natural Resources Defense Council in suing the Trump administration to block implementation of a recent executive order requiring federal agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every new one that they issue.

The plaintiffs are concerned that the executive order will diminish protections against discrimination, public health, worker safety, consumer protection, and the quality of the environment.

CWA President Chris Shelton said that Trump’s so-called “one in, two out” Executive Order imperils worker safety by requiring the elimination of existing job safety regulations when the need arises to write new ones.

“This order means that the asbestos workplace standard, for example, could be discarded in order to adopt safeguards for nurses from infectious diseases in their workplaces,” said Shelton. “This violates the mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect workers’ safety and health. It also violates common sense.”

While President Trump touted his executive order as a boon to small business, the bulk of the order’s benefits will go to large corporations.

Public Citizen President Robert Weissman blasted Trump’s order as a gift to big business at the expense of workers, public health, consumers, and the environment.

“No one thinking sensibly about how to set rules for health, safety, the environment, and the economy would ever adopt the Trump Executive Order approach–unless their only goal was to confer enormous benefits on big business,” said Weissman. “If implemented, the order would result in lasting damage to our government’s ability to save lives, protect our environment, police Wall Street, keep consumers safe, and fight discrimination.”

Weissman also criticized Trump’s Executive Order for establishing a new regulatory budgeting system that requires the net cost of new regulations to be zero, meaning that agencies must offset the cost of the new regulations by cutting existing regulations.

“By irrationally directing agencies to consider costs but not benefits of new rules, it would fundamentally change our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits,” Weissman said.

The public benefits of regulations are often ignored, but according to the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the public benefits of regulations often far exceeded their costs.

OMB has developed a methodology for estimating the costs and benefits of regulations and reports this information to Congress.

Project on Government Oversights reports that the draft of OMB’s most recent report estimates that the annual public benefit of all major regulations over the last ten years amounts to between $208 billion and $627 billion; on the other hand, the cost of these regulations ranges from $57 billion to $85 billion.

In 2005 when the OMB was headed by a Republican appointee of President George W. Bush, its cost-benefit analysis of regulations  found that the annual benefits over a ten-year period amounted to between $69.6 billion and $276.8 billion while the costs ranged from $34.8 billion to $39.4 billion.

In addition to ignoring the public benefits of regulations, the Trump Executive Order forces agencies to make what Rhea Suh, president of the National Resources Defense Council, calls the “false choice” of determining what public benefits must be sacrificed in order to write a new regulations.

 

“President Trump’s order would deny Americans the basic protections they rightly expect,” said Suh. “New efforts to stop pollution don’t automatically make old ones unnecessary.”

The plaintiffs’ suit if successful will prevent agencies from being forced to make these kinds of false choices.

The lawsuit was filed on February 8 in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. According to a statement issued by the plaintiffs, “the complaint alleges that . . . agencies cannot lawfully comply with the president’s order because doing so would violate the statutes under which the agencies operate and the Administrative Procedure Act.”

“When presidents overreach, it is up to the courts to remind them no one is above the law and hold them to the US Constitution,” said Patti Goldman, an Earthjustice attorney and one of the attorneys working for the plaintiffs. “This is one of those times.”

T Mobile workers step up their organizing campaign

T-Mobile Workers United (TU) solidified their position as a permanent force for worker rights at the US’ third largest wireless carrier when on July 25 it opened its first field office in Wichita, Kansas.

“T-Mobile workers in Wichita are ready for a seat at the table, and the opening of this local office is proof of the momentum of our campaign to come together as workers and collectively bargain with our employer,” said Angela Melvin, a customer service representative at T-Mobile’s call center in Wichita. “We have come such a long way in building our union at T-Mobile, and I know there is much work to be done.  I cannot wait to see what the building of this union has in store for us!”

TU has been fighting since 2008 to improve workers lives at call centers and retail stores owned by T-Mobile and T-Mobile’s affiliate MetroPCS.

As a result of TU’s work, T-Mobile workers now have paid parental leave, a scheduling policy that doesn’t punish people for being sick, and the right to speak freely on the job..

In April, TU took another step toward becoming a more effective organization by electing chief stewards at seven T-Mobile call centers.

The stewards will listen to workers as they talk about the changes that they would like to see at the company, lead the workers’ meetings with management, train others on labor laws and workplace rights, and truly represent the workers’ voice at T-Mobile.

The ultimate goal of TU is to win a collective bargaining agreement that ensures that these victories can’t be taken away and that more improvements can be achieved.

Melvin discovered what it looks like to work in a call center where workers belong to a union when she took a recent trip to Germany to address the annual stockholders meeting of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s owner.

Deutsche Telekom’s workers belong to a union called ver. di.

“What I took away is that the Germans are a great role model on how to treat employees with dignity and respect,” said Melvin. “What I loved most about their call centers is how the environment was a smaller work space and not so hectic with noise and other distractions and that their metrics just don’t randomly change from month to month. It is also amazing to learn that they have unlimited paid sick days and they are an extremely productive company. I also love their scheduling model, which provides predictable schedules for a whole year that take workers’ personal situations into consideration and is not based on performance.”

Ver. di has taken a special interest in the union organizing drive undertaken by TU and together with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which has been supporting TU, has established the TU Council, a cross Atlantic organization of T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom workers that fosters cooperation between the two companies’ workers.

As a gesture of solidarity with their counterparts in the US Lothar Schröder, a leader of ver.di, attended TU’s office opening in Wichita.

“Ver.di and CWA have been working in solidarity and friendship together for many years,” said  Schröder, who is also the vice chairman of the Deutsche Telekom board of directors. “Forming TU in 2008, we made an important and unique step for the global labor movement in furthering our international union cooperation. Now with the opening of the TU field office in Wichita, we continue on this path. Ver.di and I are committed to do what it takes so that T-Mobile workers can freely decide whether they want to join a union to have a voice in the workplace.”

Verizon workers ratify new contract after victorious strike

Three weeks after the end of a 45-day strike, members of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states ratified a four-year collective bargaining agreement with Verizon.

CWA Vice President District 1 Dennis Trainor called the strike “an incredible victory for the nearly 40,000 courageous workers who put everything on the line to protect the good jobs for their families.”

“It was a tough strike, but this contract, which secures good jobs in our communities and preserve workers’ standard of living shows what can happen when we stand together,” said Ed Mooney, vice president CWA District 2-13. “I am so proud of our members for standing up for themselves, our communities, the customers and their families.”

Because union power has been greatly weakened during the last 30 years, a union official claiming victory in a strike can mean anything from, “we returned to work without making any significant concessions” to “we survived.”

But in this case, the outcome looks like a solid win for labor.

Verizon wanted to outsource more work, close 16 call centers, eliminate jobs, and make the jobs remaining less secure.

The new contract maintains all the call centers except for two small ones in New York (where workers will be placed in other jobs at the company), creates 1300 new call center jobs, returns outsourced pole maintenance work in New York to union workers, and maintains job security provisions including no involuntary layoffs, forced transfers, or job classification downgrades.

Verizon wanted to freeze pensions and force workers in the defined benefits pension plan to choose between the defined benefits plan or 401(k) savings plan.

The new contract maintains the current pension plan for those enrolled in it and increases pension payments by 1 percent each year over the next three years.

Verizon wanted to eliminate corporate profit sharing for workers.

The new contract preserves profit sharing and sets a $700 yearly minimum.

Verizon proposed a 7 percent pay increase over the four-year term of the contract.

The new contract calls for a 10.9 percent increase over four years.

The one area where Verizon made some headway was health care.

The new contract requires higher health care premiums for workers, but the wage increases will offset the higher costs with enough left over for a decent take-home pay raise.

Conventional wisdom held that winning a strike at Verizon would be difficult if not impossible.

Almost all of the company’s union workers work in the wireline division while most of the company’s revenue is generated by its wireless division.

Verizon’s technology investments also appeared to give it an edge in the strike.

The Washington Post reported that “a decision Verizon made at least two years ago to cut the human out of many customer interactions is blunting some of the strike’s effects. . . . The technology-driven shift. . . could give Verizon a greater ability to withstand one of the biggest walk-offs in company history.”

But as it turns out, the wireline division is still an important generator of revenue and Verizon’s technology turned out to be a poor substitute for the skilled hands and minds of the company’s union workers.

One important job done by union workers is the installation and maintenance of FiOS, Verizon’s voice over internet service that customers use to access telephone, internet, and cable service.

Replacement workers couldn’t keep up with the demand for new FiOS installation. As a result, one analyst estimated that the company would lose up to 150,000 customers during the strike.

Also, replacement workers weren’t able to keep landline telephone service intact.

In one instance, the Homestead, Pennsylvania police department reported that its telephone system was unavailable because replacement workers were unable to repair it.

““We can’t talk to anybody,” said Homestead Police Department Chief Jeffrey Desimone to KDKA, a CBS affiliate in Pittsburg, during the  strike. “Our phone lines have been down for over two weeks actually. Can’t seem to get any help.”

A month into the strike, Verizon warned investors to expect a steep drop in revenue because of the strike.

One Wall Street analysts said that the strike would trim Verizon’s yearly earnings by $200 million.

The strike was also having an impact on the national economy. A poor May jobs report was blamed partially on the strike.

US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez took interest and called the two sides together for mediated negotiations.

Perez told the two sides that he didn’t care what the final agreement looked like only that the two sides reach an agreement in a hurry.

The mediated talks not only resulted in a contract for wireline workers, they produced new contracts for the small number of Verizon wireless workers who belong to CWA, which could be significant going forward.

About 100 union wireless technicians in New York won gains that include the same raises and signing bonuses as the wireline workers, a new parental leave benefit, and improved standby pay.

Verizon retail workers in Brooklyn and Everett, Massachusetts, who recently joined CWA, ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with the company.

The new agreement establishes a guaranteed base of $2000 for performance pay, a grievance procedure that includes arbitration, restrictions on subcontracting, and the right to swap schedules.

These gains for wireless workers could be the most important result of the strike.

The wireless workforce is overwhelmingly non-union, and Verizon would like to keep it that way.

The new contract gains could encourage more wireless workers to unionize.

How effectively the union organizes these workers will have a big impact on the next round of bargaining four years from now.

Tentative agreement announced in Verizon strike

Unions representing 39,000 striking Verizon workers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states on May 27 announced that they had reached a tentative agreement with the company on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The workers, who belong to the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers(IBEW), have been on strike for 45 days. If the agreement is ratified, the strikers could return to work next week.

No details of the agreement have been released, but CWA President Chris Shelton said that tentative agreement achieves “our major goals of improving working families’ standard of living, creating good union jobs in our communities, and achieving a first contract for wireless retail store workers.”

“The addition of new, middle-class jobs at Verizon is a huge win not just for striking workers, but for our communities and our country as a whole,” said Shelton. “The agreement in principle at Verizon is a victory for working families across the country and an affirmation of the power of working people. This proves that when we stand together we can raise up working families, improve our communities, and protect the American middle class.”

Since the strike started, members of the two unions have taken an aggressive stand to protect their jobs, which Verizon was looking to eliminate by outsourcing work and consolidating call centers.

Workers not only picketed work sites, they held demonstrations at Verizon stores, thousands of them converged on Verizon’s headquarters in New York, and they conducted outreach campaigns to win the support of consumers and elected officials.

Verizon tried to maintain a semblance of normal service by using managers and replacement workers to provide services.

The company even paid for replacement workers to stay in hotels during the strike.

Alex Gourevitch writing for Jacobin reports that, when union members learned where the scabs were staying, they arrived at the hotels early in the morning blowing horns, ringing bell, and chanting loudly.

The disruptions caused some hotels to stop allowing Verizon to use their premises as a base of operations.

The courts finally issued injunctions to stop the workers from demonstrating at the hotels, but the workers maintained their solidarity on the picket lines, and the strike began to takes its toll on Verizon.

The Montclair Patch reported that Verizon customers in New Jersey complained about serious service problems during the strike.

“It as been nothing short of a nightmare,” said one dissatisfied Verizon customer, who was trying to get her phone fixed. The replacement worker who was sent to fix her phone, “didn’t have a clue as to how to fix my phone, so they called two more techs to come and help. They were at the house from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the four of them completely botched my phone and made it even worse.”

The strike also appeared to be affecting Verizon’s bottom line.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam on May 24 told investors to expect lower second quarter earnings because of the strike.

The Wall Street Journal reported that one analyst estimated that the strike would reduce company revenue by $343 million during the company’s second quarter reporting period.

Three days later the tentative agreement was announced.

Negotiations for the new contract began last summer, but dragged on until April when the company decided to test the resolve of its workers by forcing them to go on strike.

The company demanded that the unions accept its concession demands, or the company would begin requiring technicians to accept job assignments that would keep them away from their homes for months at a time.

The unions refused to budge, and the strike began on April 13. A few days later, Verizon announced that its concession-laced contract proposal was its last, best final offer.

The move was an attempt by the company to stampede union members back to work, but the strikers held firm.

In a few more weeks, government officials began to worry about the strike’s impact on the larger economy, and US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez summoned union leaders and company executives to Washington for a face-to-face meeting.

After the meeting, the two sides announced that negotiations would resume, and a day later, Perez said that a federal mediator would help the two sides reach an agreement.

The subsequent negotiations took 13 days before a tentative agreement was announced. When it was announced, the unions said that they would take down their picket lines.

One important result of the strike is that 65 Verizon wireless workers, who joined CWA in an attempt to improve their working conditions won their first collective bargaining agreement.

The company had steadfastly refused to recognize the new union bargaining component because it wanted to keep its wireless division union free.

The new contract for wireless workers will likely encourage other Verizon wireless workers to join the union.

Union fact finders confronted by SWAT team; unions return to bargaining table with VZ

A week after a union fact-finding team was confronted by a SWAT team carrying automatic weapons, US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez called leaders of the unions representing 39,000 striking workers to Washington DC to meet with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

As a result of the meeting, the two sides agreed to return to the bargaining table on May 17.

Secretary Perez said that time was of the essence for the two sides to reach a “mutually beneficial resolution to the strike.”

The unions have established a website where strike supporters can show their solidarity by donating to a fund that provides financial assistance to striking workers.

Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) who work for Verizon in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have been on strike since April 13.

They want to protect their good-paying jobs and maintain some control over job assignments that affect their home life and the quality of their life away from work.

Verizon wants to close call centers, offshore more work, and impose work rules that would force workers to accept work assignments that require them to live away from home for months at a time.

CWA recently learned that Verizon has already begun the process of offshoring more customer service jobs.

According to CWA President Chris Shelton, Verizon call center workers in the Philippines contacted CWA to inform the union that Verizon was routing customer service calls to call centers in the Philippines.

The Philippine workers, who are paid $1.78 an hour, said that they were required to work one to two hours of overtime five days a week and a sixth eight-hour day without being paid for overtime.

McAdam had previously denied that the company was extensively offshoring customer service calls; although he did admit that a few business calls for service were being routed overseas.

CWA sent four representatives on a fact finding mission to uncover the truth.

They talked to workers at the Verizon call centers and found out that they were indeed paid $1.78 an hour and were working unpaid overtime to handle the upsurge in calls from Verizon’s US customers.

When the fact finding team visited a Verizon office in Alagang and asked to speak to company representatives, they were confronted by armed security personnel and local police carrying automatic weapons.

The fact-finding team returned to their car, but as they were driving away, their vehicle was pulled over by a police vehicle.

Masked SWAT team officers, dressed in black, and carrying automatic weapons exited the vehicle and confronted the union fact finders.

After several harrowing minutes, the union fact finders were allowed to leave.

“When our members uncovered how Verizon is padding its incredible profit margins by replacing good paying American jobs with poverty-wage jobs abroad, Verizon sent armed guards and a SWAT team after them,” said Shelton.

Verizon has reported profits of $39 billion during the last three years, and its first quarter, pre-strike profits for 2016 were $4.3 billion; however, the company warned investors that the ongoing strike would likely lower profits in the second quarter of the company’s fiscal year.

Commenting on Verizon using armed guards and police to confront union fact finders, CWA District 2-13 Edward Mooney said that “Verizon is going to great lengths to try to hide their strategy of outsourcing middle-class American jobs in favor of poverty wages abroad.”

Mom explains to Verizon CEO why she is on strike

Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO, is a dollar and cents kind of a guy.

Over the last three years, Verizon booked profits totaling $39 billion, but that’s not enough dollars and cents for McAdam–he wants more.

To get more, he is demanding that Verizon’s union employees, who belong to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), accept steep cuts to their health insurance plan, allow Verizon to close some of its call centers and move some of those jobs overseas, and accept job assignments that would require them to live away from their families for months at a time.

As a result of McAdam’s demands, Verizon’s union workers went on strike nearly four-weeks ago.

A few days into the strike, McAdam, whose 2015 compesation was 243 times greater than the average Verizon employee, visited a CWA picket line in DeWitt, New York and told those on the picket line that he didn’t understand why they were on strike–it didn’t make dollars and cents to him.

A video showing McAdam’s befuddlement went viral, and Amanda Poe, a CWA member who works for Verizon in Willmington, Delaware, wrote him a letter explaining why she is on strike.

The letter contains a powerful message that even a clueless multi-millionaire should be able to understand.

Poe, a single mother of two teenage daughters, said that the strike is about more than dollar and cents; for her, it’s about being able continue being a good mom.

One of her daughters was born with a severely cleft palate and lip that required several expensive surgeries. The operations have been a success, but years later her daughter continues to receive expensive follow up treatment.

Fortunately, Poe has health insurance, won by her union through hard-fought struggles, that has covered most of the expenses.

But Verizon, even though it is flush with profits and facing a profitable future, wants its striking workers to accept steep health care cuts.

“Changes to the health care coverage offered by Verizon could prevent us from getting the help (my daughter) needs to compete her health care plan,” wrote Poe to McAdam. “Affordable health care is not an option–it is a necessity. Is she worth it? Absolutely.”

Verizon also wants to close call centers such as the one where Poe works.

If McAdam shuts down her call center, Poe may still have a job, but in order to keep her job, she will have to commute hours a day to keep it.

Instead of spending time with her daughters at home and during their extra-curricula activities, Poe will be driving to and from work.

“Changing my work location would take away much of what I hold dear — spending my time with my children. I am sure that is not the intention of the move, but please realize it is the result. I am not just a number Mr. McAdam. I am someone’s mom.” wrote Poe.

Poe was joined by thousands of other Verizon striking workers as they took to the streets to explain to McAdam and his Wall Street bosses why Verizon’s workers are on strike during a nationwide day of action on  May 5.

In New York, 2000 Verizon workers marched to Verizon wireless store on Wall Street to demand a fair contract.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, 250 Verizon workers and supporters demonstrated at Verizon’s annual shareholders meeting. Fifteen union  members and community supporters were arrested in an act of civil disobedience to protest Verizon’s greedy contract demands.

“As long as corporate executives put short-term profits ahead of the workers who make those profits possible and the communities they promised to serve, the calls for a change of course at Verizon will only grow stronger,” said protester Bianca Cunningham before she was arrested,

Cunningham is a former Verizon Wireless worker who was fired in September while helping her fellow employees form a union.

In all, 400 actions, mostly at Verizon wireless stores across the country, were held to demand a fair contract.

As part of the day of action, the striking unions set up a website where you can show your support for Verizon workers standing up to corporate greed by donating to a solidarity fund.

Money in the fund will help workers facing financial difficulties while they remain on strike.