Apr 21, 2016 05:02 AM EDT

Bernie Sanders Talks Of Verizon Outsourcing Jobs To Offshore Countries

By Jane Reed

Verizon workers have been rallying against Verizon's practice of outsourcing jobs outside America. It has been a big issue brought to the table by labor unions during their week-long strike against the company. Union leaders have pointed out that there is evidence of the practice.

The union contends that Verizon wants, in a labor contract, to shift more jobs to contractors. This brought out nearly 40,000 Verizon workers to go on strike, according to Computer World. Marilyn Irwin, President of the Washington area Communications Workers of America Local 2108 (one of the labor union groups on strike), explained that Verizon wants to contract 50% of its operations offshore.

While Verizon is busy making sure its operations are still running, the issue has been getting attention nationwide. The likes of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has also shown a spotlight on the issue. "They want to outsource decent paying jobs," Sanders said at the Verizon picket line.

It's no secret that in order to compete with other companies, businesses are looking to hire cheaper labor offshore. However, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam responded through his LinkedIn account against Sanders' remarks. "Contrary to Sen. Sanders's contention. the proposal that Verizon is making to the union does not call for mass layoffs or shipping jobs overseas. Rather, we've asked for more flexibility in routing calls and consolidating some of our call centers, some of which employ a handful of people."

According to reports, this was the only time Verizon has spoken about the issue. The company did not respond to other requests for comments or clarification.

While Verizon keeps mum about the issue, Verizon workers have been filing applications with the United Sates Labor Department for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits because they lost their jobs from companies outsourcing to other countries. One former employee noted in her TAA application that - "Verizon has been in the process of moving all production for all products off shore for the last few years. We were notified in April [2015] that all the remaining VOIP Order Management was being moved to Manila."

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