Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has a message for Verizon (VZ) management: you’re greedy.
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On Wednesday Sanders walked the picket line with striking Verizon workers led by members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), in Brooklyn, New York, his birthplace, where he blasted the telecom giant. “Just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of Americans, today you are not just standing up for Verizon workers but you are standing up for Americans,” bellowed Sanders. The workers, mostly landline specialists, want better healthcare and pension benefits. The Vermont senator praised the workers for walking off the job, “You’re telling corporate America they cannot have it all. You’re telling corporate America that workers in this country are not going to continue being pushed down and down. Workers in this country deserve decent wages and benefits.”
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams is having none of it. He fired back in a LinkedIn (LNKD) post, “Feeling the Bern of Reality”. Separately on Tuesday, Verizon blasted Sanders after he accused the company of dodging taxes. In this public policy statement the company attempted to set the record straight, “Sanders needs to get his facts straight.” The post highlighted that the firm paid nearly $16 billion in taxes during the 2014-2015 year, among other things.
Verizon is taking a cue from General Electric (GE) CEO Jeffrey Immelt who wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post against Sanders after he criticized the industrial giant for excessive corporate pay packages.