Verizon CEO Responds to Criticism

A Verizon strike has put the CEO under pressure to explain worker pay and taxes. Employees in two unions have walked out after failed contract negotiations.

In a press release, union leaders from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) explained the reason for the strike, including this quotation from the president: 

"No one wants to go on strike, but Verizon-this immensely profitable company-is putting the squeeze on hard-working men and women who just want to come to work, do their jobs and be treated fairly."

Verizon's press release blames the unions for ending negotiations and refusing mediation. The company calls out union leaders for "ignoring today's digital realities" and focuses on the impact of the strike on customers: 

"Millions of Americans rely on Verizon for the ability to communicate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We remain fully prepared to handle any work stoppage so that our products and services will be available where and when our customers need them."

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has gotten into the fight: 

Verizon Bernie

Although CEO Lowell McAdam didn't address his own pay, he did respond to Bernie Sanders in a LinkedIn post. He focused on Verizon's contribution of taxes and employment. Like the press release, McAdam emphasized changing technologies and the need to keep pace. 

Discussion Starters: 

  • Read arguments on both sides. Which are the strongest and weakest? With which do you most agree? 
  • Assess McAdam's LinkedIn post. How well does he address Sanders' criticism?