Verizon: Can You Pay Me Now?

Join us to demand that Verizon take responsability for labor abuses of workers digging Verizon-FiOS tranches.rnrnWhen: Tuesday, June 24th @ 12PM.rnWhat: Picket!rnWhere: Verizon Headquarters on 2055 L St NW. Washington, DC.rnWhy: As Verizon creates its network to provide Maryland residents with high-speed services, low wage workers ARE NOT GETTING PAID! This practice must stop!rnrnJoin us Tuesday to demand that Verizon take accountability and ensure proper payment of all its workers!rnrnFor more information call 202.974.8281 or email Ruth Castel-Branco at rcastel@dclabor.org.rnrnEndorsed by: Casa de Maryland, Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Legal Aid Justice Center Immigrant Advocacy Program, DC Jobs with Justice and the Connect-DC Coalition.rnrnrnBackgroundrnrnThe Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Program (Formerly Virginia Justice Center), CASA of Maryland, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee have joined forces with 70 immigrant workers who performed work on behalf of Verizon FIOS as trench diggers. These individuals have claims for unpaid minimum and/or overtime wages. These workers not only seek to recover their earned wages for work performed on Verizon’s behalf, but also demand that Verizon take responsibility for its negligence which has allowed for the abuse and exploitation of workers. rnrnThe FIOS project is a 20 billion dollar project that, according to Verizon, had installed more than 457 million feet of fiber in 16 states. Low wage immigrant workers are digging these trenches and Verizon FIOS continues to expand this project, and making a profit while their own workers continue to be victims of wage-theft. Given the number of workers that have sought legal assistance for unpaid wages over the last year, it is feared that the conditions of the workers in Virginia and Maryland are illustrative of others found throughout the country. rnrnWhy We Need Your Help rnrn“I certainly feel badly” if workers weren’t paid, said Verizon senior vice president for network services Chris Creager, the “the responsibility lies directly with the person they are working for.” – Elissa Silverman, Pay Fight in Tech’s Trenches; Day Laborers for a Verizon Subcontractor Say They Were Cheated, The Washington Post, February 16, 2006, at D1.rnrnIn the past, Verizon has maintained that because these workers are employed by Verizon’s subcontractors, they are no responsible for the unpaid wages despite the argued that they contract out labor on the FIOS project and thus should not be held responsible for the actions of their subcontractors. Workers and advocates certainly disagree! While it is an open question as to whether Verizon is legally liable for the trench diggers’s unpaid wages, it is clear that Verizon has shown reckless disregard in allowing this rampant abuse and should take responsibility for its policies. For this reason, a public relations and organizing campaign that draws on the support of allies is crucial. rnrnWhat we need from our alliesrnrnJOIN US ON June 24, 2008!!!rnrn· On April 25, 2008 we sent a letter to Verizon and their general contractors specifically requesting a meeting to discuss the pervasive wage abuse more extensively. To date, they have refused to speak with us and for that reason the workers have decided to launch a massive protest on Tuesday June 24th to raise awareness of this injustice and demand that Verizon take responsibility. Verizon must ensure proper payment of all workers. Don’t let Verizon profit over labor abuses. Join workers in asking Verizon, “CAN YOU PAY ME NOW!!!” rn

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