Big Telecom Screws CWA, Everyone Else

Big Telecom Screws CWA, Everyone Else
by Matt Stoller
mydd.com
04/09/07

I’m really angry about net neutrality right now.  It’s conventional wisdom that there will be no net neutrality legislation moved this cycle, which is completely fucking ridiculous.  There’s an open universal wireless broadband and cell phone network that the US could implement in 2009, but the FCC’s Kevin Martin really wants to give it away.  Meanwhile, the broadband providers are starting to impose cell phone like restrictions on their service, beginning with those lovely early termination fees that we all love.  And Google and the internet companies are laughably incompetent in their lobbying capacity (this comes from the leadership of those companies, who find DC dumb and dirty and neuter their lobbyists).

And then there’s the CEO pay.  AT&T CEO Ed Whiteacre is going to get, according to Pensions and Investments (can’t find link), “$158.4 million pension package when he retires as chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc, the highest of any CEO.”  And then there’s Ivan Seidenberg, of Verizon, who made $109 million the last five despite a shareholder return of negative five percent.

The Communications Workers of America are going after Seidenberg not Whiteacre, because Whiteacre isn’t trying to union-bust.  But in public policy matters, when Seidenberg or Whiteacre say ‘jump’, CWA says ‘how high’.  Right now, the net neutrality fight is stalled because CWA is relying on their corporate masters rather than its natural allies, the progressive and consumer rights movements.  In Maryland, during a fight over a net neutrality bill, both CWA and Verizon showed up in force demanding that Maryland House of Delegates not even consider the bill because it had non-binding net neutrality findings in it.  Both the corporate and labor lobbyists flat-out lied.   —>
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/4/9/182054/9979

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