Oct 8, 2015
East Coast Mayors Representing over 12 Million People Criticize Verizon over FiOS Foot-dragging
Mayors of major Northeast cities are fuming at Verizon for failure to roll out FiOS Broadband Internet in urban areas, where up to 12 million people are seeking competition in the Internet access marketplace. Increasing access to FiOS would also create hundreds of jobs for Verizon workers.
In a letter to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, mayors from New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey say that Verizon has failed copper network and traditional landline customers and expressed concern with how Verizon has been treating workers during contract negotiations.
"As Mayors, we understand firsthand how vital Broadband is to the growth of our local economies and to nurturing a healthy, competitive marketplace in our state. Our residents use the Internet to search for jobs, build home-based businesses, educate their children and engage in the civic life of our cities," the mayors wrote. "But consistently and increasingly, our consumers have complained that FiOS service is not available to them. These are not isolated complaints – there are millions of residents in communities throughout the Northeast who have been left without service, and with no plan or promise for future resolution."
The letter was signed by the mayors of New York City, Pittsburgh, Newark, Jersey City, Buffalo, Worcester, Paterson, Syracuse, Lowell, Albany, Brockton, Trenton and Revere, and the Democratic candidate for Mayor in Philadelphia.
Verizon is the only major telecommunications company to recently refuse federal funding to ensure customers had access to broadband in underserved areas, leaving many in eight states and the District of Columbia without access to important telecommunications options.
Verizon has also been uncooperative with municipal governments, and CWA has asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Verizon for neglecting traditional wireline services at a time when the company is trying to move away from fulfilling its obligations to non-wireless customers.
Verizon customers need access to options in the broadband marketplace, which is dominated by mostly non-union cable companies and sorely lacks in competitive price models. Americans pay nearly twice as much for broadband than consumers in other advanced industrialized countries, and often for broadband connections that are much slower.
Members and retirees from CWA Local 2201 came out Thursday morning to the Hungary Spring Road work site in Richmond, VA, to show their support for Verizon workers fighting to serve their customers and for a fair contract.
October 16 is Day of Solidarity in District 3
On Oct. 16, across District 3, CWA members will be mobilizing in a "Day of Solidarity," to push AT&T to get serious about bargaining, especially on critical issues.
AT&T workers are building public support for their fair contract fight. The 28,000 workers have stayed on the job without a contract while negotiations continue.
"Our goals in these negotiations are keeping good jobs in our communities, respect, and a better quality of life for working families," said CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt.
Next Thursday, CWA members from North Carolina to Mississippi will be wearing black and standing together, at garages, call centers and public actions, for a fair contract.
AT&T call center workers, members of CWA Local 3201, wear black on Friday to show solidarity with their bargaining team in District 3.
CWA members in Florida picketed for a fair contract at AT&T after work on Friday. "We all stand equal together. I am proud of us," Local 3120 member Billy Bates said.