- Verizon workers protested at the company's shareholder meeting in Orlando this week, calling for executives to make changes and address "serious issues in the company’s supply chain."
- Verizon workers are upset their employer continues to work with XPO Logistics after six pregnant women miscarried during their time working with the logistics company, claiming their requests for lighter duty were denied. Verizon has since left the Memphis, Tennessee, warehouse where the women worked and XPO will close the facility next month.
- "Instead of helping change the culture inside the warehouse and provide relief for workers, they cut and ran by deciding to leave Memphis," Tasha Murrell, a former worker at the Verizon-contracted XPO Logistics warehouse facility and one of the employees who had a miscarriage, said in a press release issued by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). "What’s worse, they are still doing business with XPO," she continued.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the CWA joined the Verizon workers at the protest. Verizon employees voiced their frustration at the company preventing them from unionizing. Some Verizon employees, including retail workers in Brooklyn, have been successful at unionizing.
"My question for Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg is, why is Verizon Wireless trying to stop me and my co-workers from organizing?" Jennifer Womack, a Verizon call center worker, said in a statement.
CWA is calling for Verizon to install an independent position on the company's board.
"I believe Verizon executives when they say they want safety and equity for workers, but that means conducting their own investigation and taking responsibility for ensuring no other workers servicing Verizon at XPO warehouses face the same harassment, discrimination and blatant retaliation we’re experiencing in Memphis," Murrell said.
Verizon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
"We don't comment on company meetings that are not our own," an XPO spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive in an email.
In May 2018, before the issues at the Memphis warehouse were made public, XPO had already brought in lawyer and former Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls during the Obama administration Tina Tchen to review the company's gender equity and workplace culture. It has since made multiple changes to its policies, including updated benefits for pregnant workers and new parents.
"Unlike the predecessor company that owned the facility in 2014 when most of the allegations occurred, XPO has had a written policy in place providing for reasonable accommodations when medically documented as needed for pregnant workers," Tchen said when her work was complete, in a statement provided by XPO.
The company also highlighted changes in its recent sustainability report.
"While pregnant, a woman can request accommodations without fear of retaliation," XPO CEO Bradley Jacobs said in the report. "Many accommodations are an 'automatic yes,' while more extensive work arrangements are easily determined with input from her doctor."