Two More Takes on Verizon

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08:  Verizon Communicati...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

In addition to Steve Early’s article on the challenges facing Verizon workers, we would like to recommend articles by two Talking Union contributors, Josh Eidelson and Mike Elk.

Josh Eidelson writes on the American Prospect website.

The strike was an impressive show of large-scale solidarity. At best, it may have tempered the company’s ambitions to undo 50 years of contract improvements in these negotiations, but it didn’t take the largest worker concessions—including increased health-care costs—off the table. The limits of this strike are a painful reminder that, even if workers can protect their current contracts, Verizon has been winning its 16-year war to reduce their relevance….

The strike was an impressive show of large-scale solidarity. At best, it may have tempered the company’s ambitions to undo 50 years of contract improvements in these negotiations, but it didn’t take the largest worker concessions—including increased health-care costs—off the table. The limits of this strike are a painful reminder that, even if

workers can protect their current contracts, Verizon has been winning its 16-year war to reduce their relevance.

Mike Elk examined the strike on the Working In These Times blog

CWA’s Johnson said: “We are readjusting our strategy. We will continue mobilizing and the support of allies is critical to this. We’re talking today with allies on moving forward and what actions to take.”

While it is unclear for now what effect the return to work will have on the unions’ ability to extract a fair contract from Verizon, it is clear that the strike did draw a great deal of attention to Verizon workers. The largest strike in four years received national media attention and a huge amount of traffic on social media sites in an era where workplace struggles generally get very little of both.

The strike was a clear demonstration of union power.

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