by Martha C. White
As the communication workers strike against Verizon enters its second week, it has grown increasingly ugly, with reports of sabotaged equipment, picketing workers urging customers to boycott Verizon Wireless and Verizon telling investors that the strike will hit its bottom line this quarter.
Both sides appear to be digging in for a potentially protracted fight in what industry observers say is an especially high-stakes battle, some suggesting the outcome will be no less than a referendum on the strength and relevance of organized labor in the 21st century.
"This is an old-fashioned labor war," said Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University. "The labor movement sees the Verizon strike as a fight for its survival."