Unions are rousing supporters on Twitter and Pinterest in preparation for a May 3 protest of Verizon. Today is a day of protests around the country, but Communications Workers of America wants its members and supporters to return to the streets on May 3. CWA bought today's Promoted Trend to push the #CorporateGreed hashtag and raise awareness about issues affecting Verizon employees and consumers.
"Our corporate greed campaign in Twitter is really an effort to reach a huge audience," said CWA spokesperson Candice Johnson.
CWA aims to get the word out about protests and rallies to be held across the country on May 3, when Verizon holds its annual shareholders meeting in Alabama.
The union, part of the AFL-CIO, is also using hashtags like #VeriGreedy and #FightForGoodJobs in tweets promoting the effort. "What's #verigreedy Verizon Wireless got in store for you? To start, a new $30 fee!" declares one CWA tweet. Some link to CWA's spoof of a Verizon shareholder report. The Broken Connections parody report paints Verizon as a profit-hungry corporation that scores unfair tax breaks and treats its workers unfairly.
Today's Twitter campaign has its detractors. Some Twitter users have suggested buying the Promoted Trend - which costs $120,000 per day - was not a good use of union funds.
Others, like Nestor Rivera, poked fun: "I'm glad that Verizon is #Verigreedy because it allows me to hijack a liberal talking point from almost anywhere in America. #corporategreed."
The May 3 event is part of the CWA's broader 99 Spring/Challenging Corporate Power initiative, said Johnson. The group is also running video-enabled display ads and plans to run mobile ads this week, she added.
CWA tweets also expand to show a video featuring Verizon workers at a protest march. The video promotes VeriGreedy.org, which allows people to sign up for campaign updates.
AFL-CIO is also backing the CWA campaign by using the #VeriGreedy and #CorporateGreed hashtags in its own tweets today. The union group has a Pinterest page loaded with infographics highlighting the salaries of CEOs from firms like Apple and Oracle. Each of the images - which link to PayWatch.org - has only been repinned a few times, however.
Although the Verizon protest effort is not directly related to the upcoming 2012 election, it's no surprise the union organizations are rallying members. President Obama is, too. He spoke recently before the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, suggesting that Republicans have created obstacles to job growth.
Fostering support among unions and like-minded groups is an overarching goal, said Johnson. "We want to raise the idea that we all have to work together and be there for each other's fight," she said.
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March 19, 2014