Working people at Verizon are on strike. After months of negotiations with Verizon, they are taking a stand to stop the company from sending jobs overseas and to get Verizon to end its continued intimidation of working people at Verizon who are trying to create a better future for themselves and their families.

There are two big reasons why UHCAN urges every part of the Health Care Justice movement to support the Verizon strikers:

(1) Labor unions are a key component of the Health Care Justice movement and the Verizon workers need and deserve our support as our friends and allies.  The company’s proposals would destroy decent jobs by shifting many overseas, slashing retiree health benefits, keeping some workers away from their families for up to 2 months, and more.

(2) The company is using health care coverage as a club to try to starve out the strikers. The company has stopped paying for the striking workers’ health insurance as of May 1st.  Verizon is saying that if you don’t do what we want we’re going to take away health care from 40,000 of you and your families.  Remember, the money the company pays for their employees’ health insurance is not the company’s money – it is money the workers gave up from their wages in order to have health care.

One hundred years ago, workers had to live in company housing and the companies would throw evict them if they went on strike.  We don’t have the company house or company store anymore, but we have company-provided health care and now the company says if you go on strike we’ll cut off your health care. That’s the modern version of throwing people out of company houses.

Every part of our movement should find a way to connect with the Verizon strikers. May 5 has been designated a “Verizon Strike National Day of Action.”  Visit a Verizon picket line if there’s one near you – nothing beats face-to-face contact.  If you can’t do that, join online.

Visit http://standuptoverizon.com to find out how to get involved.

Sign and circulate the AFL-CIO online petition.