Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"They want to give their CEO $20 million a year in compensation," Bernie Sanders told striking Verizon workers in New York on Wednesday. (Photo: David Becker/AP)

Sanders Responds to Disgruntled CEOs: 'I Welcome Their Contempt'

This is not the first time Bernie Sanders has drawn the ire of corporate honchos

Andrea Germanos

Bernie Sanders' response to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam's charge that the Democratic presidential candidate has "contemptible" views? Bring it.

Sanders on Wednesday joined striking Verizon workers on a picket line in New York City. He applauded them, saying, "Today you are standing up—not just for justice for Verizon workers—you are standing up for millions of Americans."

The Manhattan march was one of many the roughly 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBW) unions staged on the East Coast to protest what they described as the communication behemoth's "devastating" cuts.

"They want to take away the health benefits that you have earned," Sanders said. "They want to outsource to decent paying jobs. They want to give their CEO $20 million a year in compensation," he told the workers.

McAdam shot back at Sanders' statements, writing in a post on his LinkedIn page that the Vermont senator's "uninformed views are, in a word, contemptible," and arguing that Sanders' claims are detached from reality.

His post rejects the claims "that Verizon doesn't pay its fair share of taxes," and adds, "I challenge Sen. Sanders to show me a company that's done more to invest in America than Verizon."

Sanders responded to the comments, as well as to criticism from General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, tweeting:

McAdam's comments, however, did receive "gushing praise" from fellow executives, according to Zaid Jilani at The Intercept.

A 2014 report from Citizens for Tax Justice found that Verizon was among dozens of companies that, from 2008-2012, paid no federal corporate income tax—a fact that led Sanders to put the company on his list of America's Top 10 Corporate Tax Avoiders.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'End the Filibuster': GOP Ready to Tank Even Manchin's Compromise Voting Rights Bill

"Sen. Manchin searched for 10 Republicans to support voting rights legislation, but Republican senators willing to break with Sen. McConnell and stand on the right side of history simply don't exist."

Jessica Corbett ·


Africa's Disappearing Glaciers Signal 'Irreversible' Threat to Earth System: Report

The authors of a U.N. report urge greater investment in climate adaptation and weather services on the continent.

Julia Conley ·


As Corporate Dems Belly-Ache Over Social Investments, Senate Panel Approves Extra $29 Billion for Pentagon

The Senate committee vote included $10 billion more than the Defense Department requested. "That's $100 billion over 10 years—or half the cost of universal pre-K, which we're told we can't afford," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·


'What Republicans Want to Do Everywhere': Outcry Over New Voting Maps in Texas

"The new redistricting plans are an unlawful attempt to thwart the changing Texas electorate and should be struck down."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Resign or Be Removed': Outrage After Top NY Dem Compares Buffalo's India Walton to David Duke

"This is the malignant narcissism of far too many white men," said Congressman Jamaal Bowman.

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo