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Representatives from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the union whose members are currently engaged in a weeks-long strike against Verizon for its "corporate greed," say they discovered this week that the communications behemoth has publicly lied about the extent of its offshoring of jobs.
"When our members uncovered how Verizon is padding its incredible profit margins by replacing good paying American jobs with poverty-wage jobs abroad, Verizon sent armed guards and a SWAT team after them."
—CWA President Chris Shelton
The union representatives, including CWA staff, a representative of UNI (global labor federation) and representatives of KMU (a Filipino union), traveled to the Philippines for four days this week to investigate a report from local Verizon employees who sent word that the corporation was lying to its American workers about the size of its offshore operations in the country.
When confronted about these issues at their corporate headquarters in the Philippines on Wednesday, May 11, Verizon officials refused to speak to the representatives. Presumably, it is difficult to justify paying workers $1.78 an hour when the company’s CEO made $18 million last year, and the company has piled up $1.5 billion a month in profits for the past 15 months. When the CWA delegation left peacefully, Verizon had their armed private security team pull over the departing van on a public street. The Verizon security team then called in a SWAT team, who surrounded the car, bearing automatic weapons. One police officer with his face covered in a balaclava pounded on the van window with his automatic rifle, demanding that the labor representatives leave the vehicle.
The union representatives, including CWA staff, a representative of UNI (global labor federation) and representatives of KMU (a Filipino union), were allowed to leave without further issue, as they had done nothing illegal and the police had no cause to detain them.