Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now?

Look in your pocket. Is that a Verizon phone you're carrying around? 42 million people would answer yes. The problem is that Verizon isn't winning any ethical prizes lately, especially when it comes to employment practices.

Here's the story, according to a Federal Administrative Law Judge:
  • The company has prohibited workers from talking about the union on their own time;
  • A company rule requires employees to report all union activity at their worksite, as part of the company's national "Emergency Procedures;"
  • And, in an action reminiscent of Wal-Mart's closure of a Quebec store when its employees formed a union, Verizon Wireless shut down a call center after its employees moved closer to getting a union.

And besides, they gave phone records to the NSA. Maybe we should just hang up on them.

According to the New York Times, Cingular, Verizon's top competitor, does honor its employees wishes to unionize. Working Assets seems like it would be a good choice, but they too have been accused of anti-consumer practices. Here's a link to an evaluation of various wireless service providers: BuyBlue. Unfortunately, it's kind of discouraging. What would you do?

Whether or not you're a Verizon customer... whether or not you intend to change your service provider, you can encourage Verizon Wireless to acknowledge that fiar employment practices are good business. Their employees deserve a say in their working conditions and some job security. You could drop a line to them here: The Petition Site.

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