The Verizon strike enters its third day as more than 45,000 employees protest the company’s demand for more than $1 billion in cutbacks to health care, retirement and other benefits.
But the company’s aggressive efforts to win concessions come at a time when it is pulling in billions in profits.
Not only did Verizon make more than $20 billion in profit in the last four years – all while paying no corporate income tax – it used loopholes in the tax code to get a billon dollar refund check from the IRS, says the Center for Tax Justice, a policy think tank, according to the company’s annual report:
Verizon not only paid nothing in corporate income taxes, it actually received nearly $1 billion (the same amount as the concessions they are seeking) in tax benefits from the federal government.
The center finds that if Verizon had paid its corporate tax at the official rate of 35 percent, it would have been enough (more than $11 billion) to prevent cuts to student loan programs made in the recent congressional debt deal.
Verizon is one of most infamous corporate tax cheats, becoming a top target of activists looking to crack down on tax loopholes that let billion dollar companies pay little to nothing in taxes.
Says the Center for Tax Justice:
Given their record on taxes and compensation, it’s hard to believe Verizon will come around to being a good corporate citizen anytime soon, yet unions and the public alike need to keep up the pressure by asking Verizon: Can you hear us now?
Join the Verizon workers on their picket lines. Today and every day until the workers prevail.
Their fight is our fight.
This post is a good reminder that the larger fight must include a demand that federal and state governments get serious about taxing corporations and the rich.
With corporations on the sideline it is time for government to step up.
Repeat after me….
Tax and spend…..Tax and invest.
TAX AND SPEND…..TAX AND INVEST.
TAX AND SPEND…..TAX AND INVEST.
And let’s get to work building a movement to tax corporations and the rich.
Fight for a return to Eisenhower tax rates.
…$1,000,000,000 in tax concessions for a “job creator”, right? According to GOP economic theory we can expect Verizon to create about 10-20K new jobs by my calculations – and no, replacement workers for the strikers don’t count!
maybe we should raise the various cable and cell phone taxes, because apparently they would absorb it by lowering their rates in order to keep their customer base. I bet lots of people pay more in cable than they do in taxes, and that’s why we feel ‘over-taxed’ – we have voluntarily gone from paying $25 per month for a landline phone, to paying $250 a month for cable and cell phone. That’s a terrible way for us to spend our money, supporting MTV reality shows about kids instead of real kids, but it seems necessary. Maybe we should nationalize it or price-fix it.
Along with many of my co-workers and union members at the Massachusetts Nurses Association, I had the chance to walk the picket line with Verizon workers this afternoon and talk to some of the strikers. While Verizon is avoiding taxes and making a profit, their workers are just trying to make ends meet. One of the Verizon employees that I walked with was the sole breadwinner in her house–her husband had been working for a small family-run company that wasn’t able to keep going through the tough economy and he was laid off in April. They have 4 kids between the ages of 16 and 21 and she was telling me that they she is grateful for the things Verizon has provided, like health benefits, and they aren’t looking for any more, just not looking to have to settle for less. And she and her husband pay taxes, unlike Verizon.
I am constantly amazed that there aren’t people flooding to the streets to protest this type of injustice and imbalance of wealth in America. I hope we all take any chance we have to talk about that imbalance and work to tip the scales back in favor of the working people.
I also walked a Verizon picket line today. I went to the line in Newton, where they have a really small but spirited group. They could really use some support, so if you have an hour or so go by and support the picket line. It is a huge morale boost for the workers there! For information about where to join a picket line, go to this link: