Sisters and Brothers,
Over the last three years, our Local has taken the necessary steps to be able to stand toe to toe with Verizon at this very moment. To highlight a few, Our Solidarity Committee has put together more events which have been well attended (our Christmas party had over 300 people in attendance), we have made the necessary decisions financially, and our membership’s response to our mobilization plan has been the best in the history of the Local.
It is imperative to understand that when we perform our mobilization tactics, it is not only to show the company that we stand together united, but it is also to let YOU know that you aren’t alone in this fight. Many of us overlook that simple fact because we get caught up in the day-to-day stress and pressure to perform your job. Going out on strike is not something anyone wants to do, but Verizon has no social conscience or moral obligation to its workers, their families, or the middle class of this country. Therefore, there are times when the line has to be drawn in the sand. WE, as union members, have to fight to keep our standard of living at its current level the way members in the past have done for us. If we don’t do it, who will?
It is no secret that all of our contractual benefits have been fought for, and there is no reason that we should be ashamed that we demand to be treated fairly from the employer that gets rich from our labor. Sadly, Corporate America has no limit as to how far they are willing to go for their greed. What sort of working conditions will our children work in, what sort of wages will they make, and how would they provide for their family if this erosion of the middle class continues? It is our moral obligation as union members–and as a member of a dying breed in the middle class–to say enough is enough. We have demonstrated at the rallies in New York last week and in Boston last night that we are ready and willing to take that stand.
As we come closer to the expiration of our collective bargaining agreement, I’m sure the stress, anxiety, and rumors are running rampant. Over the last month, we have done the best we can to communicate what has been happening at the bargaining table in an attempt to help put those things to rest. Many of us have a fear of the unknown and unfortunately the bargaining process plays into that fear. I want to assure you that regardless of what happens on August 1st at midnight we will get through it together! We always have in the past and this will be no different. So in closing I ask that you remember that this fight is not only for you, but for your sisters and brothers next to you and for the working middle class of this country, because WE set the standard!