Verizon wins injunction against striking workers after reports of vandalism, violence and harrassment
No vandalism. No violence. No Harassment. No Obstruction. No intimidating. No threatening. No Blocking. No Trespassing. Those were just a few of the restrictions placed on members of the local 827 IBEW bargaining unit, their dependents, minors, households and relatives in an injunction signed by NJ Superior Court Justice Mary Beth Rogers last week.
Rogers also set restrictions on picketing, allowing no more than six picketers at the entrance to any Verizon owned property at any one time. Picketers were also advise that no more than two picketers may picket a private residence of a Verizon employee and must stay more than 10 feet away from any Verizon individuals performing work on a private residence or business. Rogers’ decision also specified picketers may not have animals present or block any ingress or egress to prohibit movement of a Verizon contractor vehicle.
Striking workers have also been barred from entering inside of any Verizon properties unless they are performing their duties as Verizon employees under the direction of Verizon. Rules were also set for recording, video taping or photographing any individual at any Verizon or performing company.
Ironically, section J is one that would normally go without saying, yet is clearly stated:
”Dropping, spreading, throwing, placing or otherwise causing nails, glass, cinder block, spikes, feces, clubs, rocks, screws, or puncture devices of any kind, or other object or debris to be thrown or strewn in, on, or about Verizon’s driveways, parking lots, entrances, exits, vehicles and adjoining roads to any of Verizon’s property or at any work site.”
The order took effect immediately after its filing on August 11th. IBEW 827 agreed to the proposal and posted a $50,000 bond for payment of incurred future damages.
The injunction was sought by Verizon after a series of incidents across New Jersey and other states affected by the strike. In Toms River, Verizon reported FIOS cables were sabotaged and cut, causing an outage and Toms River Police reported striking workers placed nails at the entrance to the company’s Hooper Avenue office.
However, Verizon spokes person Lee Gierczynski said many of the employees in the strike are obeying the law. “The vast majority of our workforce is dedicated, hard-working and committed to doing what’s right for our customers. Unfortunately, there are few bad apples who are tarnishing the reputation of the entire union-represented workforce. ” he said “Our company is taking steps to ensure those who have engaged in illegal and reckless actions they will be dealt with appropriately. Rest assured, we will deal firmly with anyone we can identify. We fully believe those on strike have a right to legally picket and protest. Some, however, have gone to extremes.”