Verizon Strike: Epic Labor Standoff Ends, But What About The Future? [telecom]

One of the largest worker strikes in modern American history is officially over. But the fight for wireless may be just beginning.

Montclair, NJ

By Eric Kiefer

For Verizon workers who waged one of the larger strikes in recent memory, the message it sent was as important as the concessions it gained from the company: Some things are worth fighting for, and fair treatment on the job is one of them.

The assessment comes about a week after 36,500 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Engineers (IBEW) overwhelmingly approved four-year work agreements with Verizon, which brought an end to a nearly two-month labor standoff.

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Bill Horne
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In my humble opinion, the recent Verizon strike will not help the labor movement. Companies continue to take a very hard line against their workers, quietly reducing benefits and making the employees pay still more for their health care and retirement. Other companies rely on contractor labor instead of staff positions; contract laborers are essentially temporary workers with gaps in work time and zero benefits, no sick or vacation time.

Traditional union workplaces keep closing up.

The business community continues to spew propaganda that unions and properly paid employees are a drain on the rest of the economy.

Traditional unions seem to have a bad reputation among young people, who show zero interest in joining one or forming a new one. Nothing has come forward to take their place. Young people seem willing to accept onerous working conditions or limited compensation and no fringe benefits. Lots of young people with families to support must work second jobs to make ends meet; this is seen today as just a matter of course, not a problem.

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