By: Mike McFadden, Southern Rep, IBEW Local 827
Since August 2015, Verizon workers from the unions IBEW and CWA have been working without a contract.
Retirees from IBEW Local 827 of New Jersey have been participating in active weekly informational picketing across the state to help achieve a new contract for these workers and their families.
Lately, mostly due to the weather fewer retirees have been coming out to the Wednesday pickets, though our numbers in the Southern Division of our local in NJ are still very good. At the end of January, even with cold, damp weather, we still had very good turn out.
I think it is great that there are so many people coming out regularly and that so many of our retirees have been able to renew old acquaintances from our working days. One person told me that she and her husband look forward to coming out; even though her husband never worked with us, he has met new people with common interests and they have become friends. Other passersby also stop to chat or offer a “thumbs up.”
Even when we get a good turnout, we are still a long way from our potential, as there are hundreds of retirees in the Southern Division, which includes Burlington, Gloucester, Atlantic, Camden, Salem, Cape May and parts of Ocean counties.
It occurred to me recently that perhaps a lot of retirees do not realize exactly what is at stake for us, if the company gets its way with its current proposals for retirees.
These proposals would have an adverse impact on retirees’ future financial well-being and quite possibly the quality of our medical care. Ultimately, the consequence of most of the current proposals pale in comparison to the company’s push to no longer negotiate with the union for their retirees.
Having witnessed takeaways suffered by non-union retirees, I am working very hard – along with so many other retired brothers and sisters – to preserve our right to be represented. I understand that many of you can’t join us but perhaps you can help out in some other way.
Please stay informed and realize what is at stake for you and your family. Think about what would happen without our union.
You can find details on where to picket by contacting IBEW Local 827 headquarters at
609-443-4100 or www.ibew827.com.
Stay Strong, stay positive and stay informed.