Verizon to Lay Off 1700 Workers, Paid CEO $22 Million Last Year

| by Michael Allen

Verizon announced last week that it plans to cut 1,700 jobs by offering its technicians and call center employees buyouts. Verizon said that if enough workers don’t accept the buyouts, it will start involuntary layoffs.

Ironically, Verizon paid chief executive Lowell C. McAdam more than $22.5 million in 2011, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of executive compensation.

In 2011, the company’s shareholders saw an 18.8 percent increase in the value of their returns.  However, the telecom giant eliminated 26,000 jobs over a two-year period in 2008 and 2009, and laid off about 13,000 more in 2010.

According to the Communications Workers of America, Verizon has paid its top five executives more than $350 million in the last five years.

Verizon has demanded sizable concessions from its workers, including the elimination of the company pension plan, increases in health care premiums, and more outsourcing of jobs, according to a press release from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

In November 2011, Citizens for Tax Justice released a report that showed that Verizon did not pay taxes in 2008-2010, but did receive nearly $1 billion in rebates from the federal government:

Verizon enjoyed some $14 billion in federal and state corporate income tax subsidies in the 2008-2010 period even though it earned $33.4 billion in pre-tax U.S. income during that time.

At the federal level, Verizon should have paid about $11.4 billion at the statutory rate of 35 percent during the three-year period. Instead, it got $951 million in rebates, putting its federal tax subsidies at $12.3 billion. Its effective federal tax rate was -2.9 percent.