Last week the Communications Workers of America held its bi-weekly activist conference call, which you can listen to here.
The union has unwisely hitched its wagon to the radical Occupy Wall Street movement. Chris Shelton is the vice president of the union's District One, which covers New York, New Jersey, and New England. CWA is involved in a labor dispute with Verizon. After describing his group's participation in a "spirited rally" with OWS in Manhattan, Shelton vowed that his union would take part in "lots [sic] more things to mobilize [on] with Occupy Wall Street."
As for Verizon, the district VP said that his union needs to "keep sticking our finger in this company's eye--we have to make sure that we're dragging their name in the dirt." And if you are planning to visit a Verizon Wireless store in the Northeast, you may be greeted by some unfriendly people. Shelton asserted, "We have to get out in front of their stores so their customers understand what assholes they are."
Feel the love!
Mike Gendron, a CWA business agent from Long Island, rallied with OWS and spent the night at their tent city in Zuccotti Park--he spoke a bit later. Evidently unaware of the crimes taking place there, Gendron raved about the encampment. "They set up the park as their own community and are taking care of their basic needs like any other community would."
The last speaker on the call was CWA president Larry Cohen, fresh from a White House visit earlier that day. And he said there would be more CWA guests at 1600 West Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Next week two of our leaders, Paula Vinciguerra from Local 2106, the president of 2106, and Rolando Scott, president of Local 1109," Cohen confided to the activists, "will be in a small meeting with the president of the United States in the White House about jobs and what's happening." He continued, "The president wanted to learn firsthand and we said we'd have two great spokespeople [there] about the Verizon fight. And they already know what that fight is about, as I said, in the White House."
Cohen could have been just pounding his chest and throwing red meat to his minions, but I find it very troubling that our hyper pro-union president feels compelled to get involved in a labor "fight," assuming Cohen is speaking truthfully.
I checked the White House visitor logs, I'm not sure how often they are updated but Vinciguerra and Scott aren't listed in those logs. Cohen, has visited the White House at least 11 times since Obama was inaugurated.
And how many jobs do unions create? Why are more jobs created in right-to-work states?
A CWA official called Verizon "assholes." Does Obama agree with that assessment?
At one time, the president was a Verizon customer. Perhaps he still is.
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