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Verizon CEO: Sanders Spreading ‘Uninformed,’ Contemptible’ Views

After Bernie Sanders joined the picket line for striking Verizon workers and had harsh words for the company, the CEO fired back.

“Verizon is in Sanders’s bull’s-eye, as well. The senator’s uninformed views are, in a word, contemptible,” Lowell McAdam wrote in a statement.

“In the last two years, Verizon has invested some $35 billion in infrastructure — virtually all of it in the U.S. — and paid out more than $16 billion in dividends to the millions of average Americans who invest in our stock,” he wrote.

The Hill reports:

He touted Verizon as one of the top three capital investors in corporate America, saying the company’s investment has helped to build networks that deliver “high-quality services, create high-tech jobs and form the infrastructure for the innovation economy of the 21st century.”

“I challenge Sen. Sanders to show me a company that’s done more to invest in America than Verizon,” he wrote.

McAdam said Sanders claimed that Verizon was demanding that workers take pay cuts and reduce their health benefits unless they wanted to have their jobs shipped overseas. He said the company’s proposals actually call for preserving competitive wages and benefits while “addressing the needs of our ever-changing benefits.”

“Sen. Sanders has also involved himself in our on-going negotiations with the labor unions representing some 36,000 communications workers in our wireline business, a bargaining process that has been going on since last June,” the statement said.

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

He wrote that rhetoric gets “heated” in a presidential campaign and that it’s easy to target big companies, but argued that Sanders’s claims were not based in reality.

“When rhetoric becomes disconnected from reality, we’ve crossed a dangerous line. We deserve better from people aspiring to be President,” he wrote.

“At the very least, we should demand that candidates base their arguments on the facts … even when they don’t fit their campaign narratives.”  

The statement comes as Sanders joined thousands of Verizon workers Wednesday on the picket line. The workers’ strike began Wednesday morning. 

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