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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Verizon Just Got Berned

It's a sign that we're heading into a new era of reining in corporate excess, and an era where labor is taking a more assertive stance. That's what we can see when the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers called the strike. Verizon is starting to get heat from the growing support for the strikers, especially when many of the workers are not paid very well, or when they're in agreement with the unions over expanding their Verizon fios broadband service. The fact is that the expansion has never happened and that's partly contributing to why both unions went on strike.

What's really interesting is the recent war of words between Bernie Sanders and Lowell McAdam, Verizon's CEO. Apparently McAdam hated the fact that Bernie called out Verizon's stashing profits off-shore to avoid (really to evade) paying US taxes. Just to be clear Verizon's pre-tax profits between 2008 and 2012 were $19.3 billion, and they got a rebate back of $535 million. This comes at a time when Verizon pays many of its employees starvation wages and provides them with very poor benefits. This comes out of a report by Americans for Tax Fairness published in 2013. Going back to the war of words, Bernie made the case fairly clear that Verizon's not adhering to its responsibilities as a corporate citizen by not paying any form of federal taxes and to make the point of saying that Verizon is only 1 of many bad actors executing loopholes in our Federal Tax Code. The icing on the cake is that Bernie channeled FDR when he said on Twitter that he welcomed the contempt of McAdam, and other CEOs of large corporations. Here's the Tweet in its entirety. Enjoy!


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