The other day the hardworking staff noted Verizon’s advertising campaign addressing its dustup with 45,000 striking workers. The telecom’s initial ads touted the generous salaries and benefits (read: better than yours) its employees receive; the second wave of ads detail the “fair” proposals the company has proffered.
Now comes the fact-checking (via Wednesday’s Boston Globe):
Verizon Communications Inc. has taken its battle with 45,000 striking union employees to the public by running ads about how well paid its Boston technicians are, with $85,000 in annual pay, four weeks’ paid vacation, and $51,000 in total benefits to an employee and family members.
Yet what Verizon does not say is that the $85,000 includes overtime pay. Union officials contend technicians in Boston would have to work the equivalent of two months of overtime to earn $85,000 a year.
Moreover, the workers won’t be getting $51,000 in combined benefits if Verizon has its way in contract talks.
Verizon is looking to freeze pension benefits and require employees to contribute to their health insurance policies, something they don’t do right now.
But here’s the problem:
Neither side agrees on even the most basic numbers involved. It is also difficult to verify union or company claims.
For example, Verizon says its demands on health insurance premiums would cost workers $1,200 to $3,000 a year. The union said such changes would cost $3,000 for individuals and $6,800 for a family.
So it’s a classic they said, they said.
Which means it’s just one more union vs. anti-union standoff.
And we all know which way the scale tilts on those.