Elections

Verizon CEO fires back after being 'Berned'

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Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam set the record straight after Sen. Bernie Sanders publicly backed the strike against the telecom provider.

In a LinkedIn blog post, McAdam aired his frustration with the Democratic presidential candidate and his "uninformed views." The CEO said that the senator's claim that Verizon doesn't pay its taxes is inaccurate.

"As our financial statements clearly show, we've paid more than $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years — that's a 35% tax rate in 2015, for anyone who's counting," wrote McAdam, directing readers to the company's website in a Tuesday statement.

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The leaders of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers called a strike on Wednesday, the latest development in the negotiations between the unions and Verizon. Approximately 40,000 workers on the East Coast began the strike at 6 a.m. The Vermont senator made an appearance at the Verizon picket line in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

"They want to avoid paying federal income taxes. In other words, this is just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans," the presidential hopeful said.

Hillary Clinton echoed some of Sanders' concerns about the ongoing negotiations between Verizon and the Communications Workers of America in a Wednesday statement.

"We should be doing all we can to keep good-paying jobs with real job security in New York. Instead, Verizon wants to outsource more and more jobs," Clinton said. "That would mean walking away from workers who have been part of their family and our communities for years."

Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO
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The Verizon CEO wrote in his post that the telecommunications industry is changing and that the company is doing what it can to adapt to these new conditions.

"Contrary to Sen. Sanders's contention, our proposals do not call for mass layoffs or shipping jobs overseas. Rather, we've asked for more flexibility in routing calls and consolidating some of our call centers, some of which employ a handful of people," the CEO said, directing readers to view Verizon's proposal.

McAdam wrote that he understood that "rhetoric gets heated in a presidential campaign."

"But when rhetoric becomes disconnected from reality, we've crossed a dangerous line. We deserve better from people aspiring to be president. At the very least, we should demand that candidates base their arguments on the facts … even when they don't fit their campaign narratives," McAdam wrote.

Read the full response on LinkedIn.