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Sanders Joins Verizon Picket Line

Democratic candidate for President Bernie Sanders joined the picket line for striking Verizon workers in New York on Wednesday.

“Verizon is one of the largest, most profitable corporations in this country, but they refuse to sit down and negotiate a fair contract?” the Vermont Senator said incredulous.

The Hill reports:

About 36,000 Verizon workers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) walked off their jobs early Wednesday, eight months after their contracts expired. The workers are objecting to proposed cuts to pension benefits and rule changes that would make it easier for Verizon to outsource work.

Sanders also visited a CWA union hall on Tuesday, applauding workers for “standing up to the outrageous greed of Verizon and corporate America.”

“I know that going on strike is not something that’s easily done,” Sanders said, according to The Washington Post. “I know there’s going to be a lot of pain involved. I want to thank you for standing up to the outrageous greed of Verizon and corporate America.”

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam shot back at Sanders Wednesday, challenging him to find another company that does more for the U.S. than Verizon.

“Sen. Sanders is wrong on the facts. More egregiously, he oversimplifies the complex forces operating in today’s technologically advanced and hyper-competitive economy,” McAdam wrote in a statement.

“We deserve better from people aspiring to be President. At the very least, we should demand that candidates base their arguments on the facts … even when they don’t fit their campaign narratives,” he added.

Sanders’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, also weighed in on the strike, calling on Verizon to “come back to the bargaining table with a fair offer for their workers.”

“Verizon wants to outsource more and more jobs,” Clinton said in a statement. “That would mean walking away from workers who have been part of their family and our communities for years — the workers who install and repair our phone and cable service, and who respond to customer needs day and night.”

The IBEW local in New York City endorsed Clinton on Wednesday, calling her the only credible candidate who stands with the middle-class.

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