Verizon Wireless Sponsors Union-Busting Mountaintop Removal Rally?

Jeff Biggers Sep 1, 2009

 By Jeff Biggers

Verizon Wireless needs to reconsider its “Friends and Family” feature — or, even better, it should withdraw its support for Massey’s Energy’s outrageously bogus “Friends of America” rally on Labor Day Weekend.

Do 87 million Verizon Wireless customers, stockholders, and its Public Policy Development and Corporate Responsibility department know that their company is a co-sponsor of next week’s climate-change-denying union-busting pro-mountaintop removal rally organized by Massey Energy in Logan, West Virginia? Here’s the link.

(And what about Greenebaum Doll and McDonald, another sponsor, “a top 200 trademark law firm” — look for your most surprising sponsor.)

Does the Environmental Defense Fund, which recognized Verizon’s Green Initiatives — to save energy, support solar and other renewable energy sources, and lower its greenhouse gas emissions — know that Verizon Wireless is sponsoring the featured speaker, Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is one of the most infamous global warming-deniers?

On its Green Press kit site, Verizon touts “environmental stewardship is ingrained in Verizon’s heritage, and the company prides itself on having a positive influence on the environment in which it operates.” It provides links to solar energy and energy efficiency measures by various offices.

Does Verizon know that 500 mountains have been destroyed, historic communities devastated, and watersheds polluted by mountaintop removal–and that Massey Energy has worked aggressively to not only wipe out our nation’s carbon sink of deciduous forests in Appalachia, but any attempts at renewable energy and development in the region: see Massey’s role to strip mine the last ridge on Coal River Mountain and impede an incredible wind farm.

Do the Communication Workers of America, who represent Verizon technicians, know that the bogus “Friends of America” rally is a blatant anti-union event aimed at taking down the 71st annual United Mine Workers of America picnic, and that Massey Energy is defiantly anti-union?

So why is Verizon sponsoring this pro-mountaintop removal rally on a strip mine site?

To read the rest of the article and see video on Huffington Post, click here.

For more information on mountaintop removal coal mining, visit and Mountain Justice Summer.

To see the recent Indypendent Operation Appalachian Spring photo essay by Antrim Caskey from the anti-mountaintop removal coal mining activism in West Virginia, click here.

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