SPRINGFIELD, Va. (August 1, 2003) – With a disruptive telecommunications strike imminent from Virginia to Maine, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today announced that it will offer free legal aid to non-striking Verizon workers who are targeted for illegal harassment or violence during the strike ordered by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. According to news reports, during the last CWA union strike against Verizon in 2000, there were “455 incidences of threats to workers, vandalism, and assaults” attributed to the strike. “With union officials ordering employees off the job, employees who courageously continue to work often face violence and other ugly forms of retaliation,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The Foundation and its staff attorneys are prepared to provide free legal aid to workers who are victims of union coercion.” The union’s strike centers, in part, on its attempt to force Verizon’s management to agree to assist the union in organizing Verizon Wireless – despite the fact that those employees have previously rejected union organizing drives. An analysis of history shows that union officials frequently call strikes to seize more authority over employees, rather than to seek additional employee benefits. In addition to a documented history of violence, the CWA union hierarchy has a long history of fining and suing employees who continue to work to support their families. The only way to escape these fines and union lawsuits is for non-striking employees to resign from formal union membership before returning to work. However union officials frequently deceive employees about their right to resign, or they simply refuse to honor employees’ resignations from membership.Important Information For Workers: