From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/23-5
by Ralph Nader
Published on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
It was only a matter of time before the "pull down" NAFTA and WTO trade agreements on U.S. wages and jobs would be followed by "pull down" contract demands by U.S. corporations on their unionized workers toward levels of non-unionized laborers.
The most recent illustration of this three-decade reversal of nearly a century of American economic advances for employees is the numerous demands by Verizon.
Here are just a few of the concessions the new Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam, is insisting upon:
- More power to contract out and offshore jobs to add to the 25,000 already in that category; thereby undermining job security.
- a freeze on pensions;
- elimination of the sickness and death benefit program;
- reduction in sick days; and
- a major increase in employee contributions to and deductibles under their health insurance coverage.
Mr. Lowell McAdam would surely have trouble feeling the pain of his workers who brave the elements storm or shine to afford him a salary of over 1.5 million dollars PER MONTH plus perks and benefits.
Watching Verizon profits soar year after year, noticing Verizon stock rise faster than its competitors, knowing that the company's top five executives took in over $250 million between them in the last four years, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) took their members on strike on August 7, 2011. "Unfair and unacceptable" was their cry on the picket lines up and down the east coast.
These workers pay their taxes. While the tax lawyers for their bosses have figured out how to turn Verizon into a vast tax escapee. According to the super-accurate Citizens for Tax Justice, Verizon Communications made a total of $32.5 billion dollars in pretax U.S. profits during 2008, 2009, 2010. Far from paying the maximum federal corporate income tax rate of 35 percent on these ample profits, Verizon's federal income tax was negative $951 million or negative 2.9 percent!
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/23-5