Association of BellTel Retirees Chairman Jack Cohen was invited to address a rally of more than 1,000 striking Verizon workers at the State House in Trenton. Cohen told the assembled crowd about the Association’s shareholder proxy campaign, which would cause the company to limit Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s potential $40 million golden parachute.
“That’s right,” Cohen said to cheers. “If Lowell McAdam is fired or the company merges, he could make over $40 million, even as he tells workers the company can’t afford to keep their jobs and those same workers must contribute an increasing amount to their health benefits, as well as a host of other demands. We’re urging Verizon shareholders to reject this runaway corporate greed.”
Delivering a greeting on behalf of BellTel’s 134,000 members, Cohen expressed solidarity with the fight against healthcare cuts and the outsourcing of jobs.
“We fight on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Verizon retirees and soon to be retirees to protect our earned pensions and benefits,” he said.
The rally, which shut down several blocks along State Street in New Jersey’s capital, was well-attended, with the state’s top political and labor leaders, including State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and several members of Congress addressing the gathering.