Everyone has by now heard about the current strike that is going on with unionized Verizon workers. For those that haven’t, let me get you up to speed. A few days ago, over 36,000 union Verizon workers went on strike due to the working conditions and due to Verizon for lack of a better word, shitting on their employees. Oddly enough, this strike follows one that involved Verizon no more than a year ago. Sadly this follows a trend that has been happening in North America for the past few years. Greed, the search of gaining more money, all of which has been a major flaw of our country.
Part of the issue is that companies have been moving jobs away from North American citizens. Jobs that could have gone to me or you, our families or friends. But why? Sadly the simple answer is that it’s cheaper to move those jobs outside of the North American borders. For every person who makes $30,000 USD a year, they can pull someone in and pay them 2/3 or less for the same job. Jobs that we as people depend on for our lives. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg here and while I won’t go in to exact details as you can find this at various sources such as CNN Money and Fortune, I will share this. For a while now Verizon has been outsourcing jobs and had been trying to get a new contract drawn up that would allow it (legally) to re-assign employees to other cities for up to two months. Think about that for a moment. They basically want to tell you that you have to go to perhaps the other side of the country for up to two months, which could be a big deal for people who have a family. How does that work for single parents who simply don’t have anyone to care for their kids while they’re away for two months?
The other major issue and one that is a sore point for this entire country is that Verizon wants to increase the amount of jobs, call center jobs mind you, that are outsources to other countries. Those are jobs that can easily be filled by workers here. The issue is however is the price. Corporate greed has been and still is an issue in this country for a while. And since there aren’t many or any rules that mandate and regulate how these companies work, they continue to force the blue-collar worker in North America out of their jobs and provide them to outsourced workers and companies. Though of course the top end management of these companies don’t suffer. They don’t get cut wages, they don’t lose their jobs and when they do eventually leave they typically do so with tons of stock, over-bloated retirement petitions and more. While you and me are lucky to find and keep a job in an age where rent and mortgages are on the rise and pay hasn’t been adjusted to meet the rising cost of living.
For those who want to get involved in this moment against Verizon, a website has been setup to help the workers on strike, to get more information about the situation and updates as well – http://standuptoverizon.com.
What also is bothering me is the promise from Verizon to expand FIOS across the country. Back in 2012 they stated would no longer expand their FIOS network, an effort they started back during 2006. This leaves the current state of fiber internet access up in the air. It also means that previous promises to bring FIOS to other regions in the country have been dropped and they’ve only expanded where they’ve reached contracts and agreements for. That leaves many in this country without the ability of getting access to anything faster than DSL or dial-up and leaves them in the mercy of other providers, many of which also have no plans to expand to their areas. Didn’t Verizon get a huge raise in revenue due to the tax breaks granted by the government for the sole purpose of expanding their fiber network? Not to mention that our cable and internet billing from Verizon always seems to get higher and higher every year.
And I’m not just pointing my finger at Verizon as they aren’t the only company that’s doing this. In fact, more and more american companies are doing this. And it’s getting out of hand. There is no more “American” loyalty, there is no more pride in your country. It’s all about the dollar and I understand that you’re a business and that’s the end game. But at the cost of killing the American workforce? Is it really worth it? Are any of these companies thinking about the future of our company? Sure you may save a few million dollars, great. But what happens when you continue to outsource american jobs? What happens when your children and their children aren’t able to find a job because they simply don’t exist anymore? I understand the need for outsourcing and offshoring but what happens when this practice complete destroys the job market for us? What happens when the our society turns into the old Detroit from the original Robocop movies?
I’ve seen this happen up-close and thankfully I wasn’t directly involved. Being involved in the IT job market, this practice is becoming more and more commonplace. Look at what is happening at Disney’s IT departments now. Complete and illegal practices, forcing workers that have been there for years, only to be told that they are being replaced by lower waged staffing. Staffing that isn’t even trained or for that matter skilled to do their jobs, so they’re forced to train them before they are given their walking papers. Seriously America, is this what we’ve stooped to?
This isn’t the first time that a company has laid off employees and used an outsourcing firm to bring in immigrant replacements:
- In 2014, Southern California Edison laid off about 540 technology workers and hired two Indian outsourcing firms to get replacements
- About 350 tech workers were laid off in 2013 from Northeast Utilities and were replaced by H-1B immigrants. The workers said as part of their severance they had to sign agreements to not criticize the company publicly.
Something needs to be done and it has start sooner than later, before we’re all the unfortunate victims of corporate greed and there’s no market for anyone us to partake in.