FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2008 VERIZON BUSINESS ORDERS U.S. FLAGS REMOVED Airman Who Flew Flags in Iraq, Afghanistan Objects to CompanyÆs Removal of Patriotic Symbol ACTON, Mass. û Terry Skiest, a Verizon Business (VZB) technician who recently returned from serving his third tour of duty for the U.S. Air National Guard in Afghanistan, is fighting for the right to display the American and Massachusetts flags outside his cubicle at work. His employer unceremoniously removed the flags last October while Skiest was in Afghanistan. VZB Management told Skiest's co-worker, Mike Wheeler, that the flags were being taken down because they "could be considered to be propaganda" and "might be offensive to some workers," Wheeler said. Terry Skiest's fellow technicians are showing their solidarity and outrage with this policy by displaying hundreds of flags in VZB cubicles and vehicles all along the East Coast. "Those flags flew with me in Iraq and flew outside my tent in Afghanistan," Skiest said. "Now I'm back at my post at Verizon Business and I want to know why I can't display my flags outside my cubicle." Terry exhausted every internal avenue of redress with VZB's management and human resources department to reconsider its decision. Terry and his co-workers are determined to continue their fight for justice until management puts the flags back up where they belong. In response to mounting pressure from Terry's VZB co-workers, Verizon recently put up its own U.S. flag in the Acton office where he works. However, management still won't allow Terry to display the flags that he flew overseas. "WhatÆs wrong with Terry's flags?" asked Mike Wheeler. "The whole point about putting up his flags is the honor and pride we feel for him and everyone else who has served our country. Since when does Verizon, or any other company, own our flag?" VZB, formerly MCI, has several government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the installation of the wireless communications system in Baghdad. "If this company is on the side of men and women fighting for our country, why does it deny me the right to fly the American flag?" Skiest asks. "That seems un-American." Skiest is part of a group of technicians at Verizon Business who formed a new union and had their majority verified by Sen. John Kerry and four U.S. Representatives last year. Terry Skiest's union has produced a short video to help him get his message out. A new website, www.putuptheflag.org has a link to the video. It also provides an easy way for people to contact VZB management to show their support.