A recent Verizon strike 2016 update revealed that a Delaware judge has issued a restraining order to protesters. This comes after reports of violence from protesters have surfaced.
According to ABC News, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster has announced that he will no longer tolerate violence or threatening behavior from the Verizon strike 2016 participants in several East Coast states. On Thursday, the Delaware judge declined the carrier's request to hold two union locals in contempt after protesters damaged the vehicles of non-union replacement workers on Interstate 95.
Laster has directed the ones who did the damage to pay for repairs. He also warned that he may hold the unions in criminal contempt and impose more "meaningful" financial penalties if the Verizon strike 2016 participants are caught engaging in future violent or threatening activities.
"If they're not willing to take responsibility, I'm going to reconsider my (contempt) ruling," the Vice Chancellor said. Laster has also imposed new restrictions, including a restraining order commanding Verizon strike 2016 participants to stay a minimum of 30 yards away from any vehicle used by a non-union worker on a highway.
Verizon has previously claimed that protesters have threatened and harassed non-union employees. It was also believed that the striking workers caused interruptions in business operations as well as engaged in vandalism.
Laster did admit that he respects the union's rights to strike and their freedom of expression. He was, however, reluctant to issue a civil contempt order in fear that Verizon may take advantage of it.
Delaware Online reported that Laster told unions' lawyers to "take responsibility for the problems" that they have created. Protesters have also been banned from using derogatory remarks such as racial and sexual slurs to describe the contract workers.
"I will not allow people to be threatened or put in danger of being hurt," he said. "It's not just a violation of my order, but it really runs contrary to what you are trying to achieve, which is respect for your own positions."