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Verizon Employees End Strike

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the back-to-business dept.

Businesses 591

An anonymous reader writes "Verizon today announced that the approximately 45,000 wireline employees represented by the CWA and IBEW that have been on strike will return to work beginning Monday night, August 22nd, without new collective bargaining agreements. Since the strike began two weeks ago, Verizon has been battling criminal acts of sabotage against its network facilities and union picketers intimidating non-union replacement workers and illegally blocking garage and work center entrances. One union picketer even went as far as to instruct his young daughter to stand in front of a Verizon truck to illegally block it from coming back to a Verizon work center in New Jersey. Verizon said the wireline employees now on strike would be working under the terms of the contracts that expired on Saturday, August 6th. The contracts will be extended with no specific deadline for achieving new collective bargaining agreements so that the parties can take the time required to resolve the critical issues, the company said."

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2 weeks? (2)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160672)

That is not enough to make a company listen to you.

Eh, I bet Big Red begs to differ.. (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160692)

45,000 employees going on strike.. for two weeks..

I don't feel like doing any math right now, but Verizon lost a bunch of money here, so it's not exactly surprising that this didn't stretch out any longer.

Personally, I was expecting it to be over much sooner, but Verizon was stubborn.

Re:Eh, I bet Big Red begs to differ.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160754)

Actually, most companies make money when there's a strike. Over $100M in unpaid salary in this case for the two weeks, while exempt management employees work overtime for no additional pay (been there, done that).

That's why strikes rarely make sense anymore.

Re:Eh, I bet Big Red begs to differ.. (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160864)

Really? If that's the case, well, wow.. that's nuts.

Re:Eh, I bet Big Red begs to differ.. (4, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160928)

Nah, whats nuts is you thinking Verizon lost money during a strike.

Re:Eh, I bet Big Red begs to differ.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160968)

but Verizon lost a bunch of money here

Huh? How? They didn't have to pay 45,000 employees for two weeks. Assuming an average salary (conservatively) of $1,000.00 per week that's $45,000,000.00 they DIDN'T have to pay. That's why the employees are back. They couldn't put enough hurt on Verizon because not a large enough percentage of the employees are union. So, Verizon had the upper hand.

Labor 0 - Big Business 1

 

Re:2 weeks? (5, Insightful)

crashumbc (1221174) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160878)

But the union won... They were fine with the current contracts, the issue was Verizon wanted the gut health care and retirement benefits. So going back to work under the old contract is a win for them...

Re:2 weeks? (4, Insightful)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161088)

Gut health care? Making union employees pay for a portion of their health care like every non union employee does is gutting?

Re:2 weeks? (5, Insightful)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161148)

Yes. Getting rid of benefits with no replacement is gutting. Now if they wanted to raise everyone's pay by the amount it would cost for them to each individually replace this benefit then fine, but they are essentially decreasing the salary of the workers.

Re:2 weeks? (5, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161238)

Don't you understand that when you take a job, you negotiate for a "Total Compensation" package. If the value of that is $100,000, and $25,000 of it is in 'benefits', if you cut the 'benefits' by $10,000 you need to INCREASE TAKE HOME PAY by ten grand PLUS the lost tax benefit...

In other words, you don't SAVE any money by cutting benefits, because unless your goal is to FUCK PEOPLE OVER, then you're going to be increasing their take home, so your "Total Comp" package remains the same....

And by "an anonymous reader" you mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160696)

Mike Lennon from Security week?

Who... (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160700)

... is ben, why isn't his name capitalized and why do the CWA and IBEW have him on strike?

Re:Who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160760)

Ben was the only guy who knew what the hell he was talking about and thus it was decided it would would be far more efficient if only he went on strike.

An offer you can't refuse. (4, Insightful)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160714)

Unions committing criminal acts to "bargain". No wonder a lot of people don't like them.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160720)

Its always one redneck who ruins it for the rest of them.

Why "Redneck"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160802)

I think they were talking primarily about "New Jersey". Hardly, "Red Neck" territory. More like, "Mick" or "Ginny" territory.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (2)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160742)

Agreed. Workers should be treated fairly, but if they don't act legally, screw 'em -- they should've been arrested and fired.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (4, Interesting)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160776)

To me, this says it all:

In an interview with a local newspaper, Short said, “Sitting in front of her [a co-worker’s vehicle] lets her know that we do not approve of her crossing the picket line when she should be standing out there suffering as much as we are.”

Source [ibtimes.com] So basically, because of her self-inflicted suffering, anyone who doesn't join her has to suffer. Nice.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (1, Informative)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160904)

That's not even the worse of it. Unions leaders themselves are immune for any criminal acts or violence that may be committed upon their encouragement or command.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161082)

really? Any references?

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161022)

but if they don't act legally, screw 'em

Imagine the kind of society we would live in if none of our ancestors had ever acted illegally. I'm not defending the Verizon worker per se, just pointing out that just because someone does something illegal, doesn't mean screw 'em.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161158)

Yeah, because fighting against a repressive government and starting our own country is the EXACT SAME THING as cutting fiber lines and knocking out phone service to a police station.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (0)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161204)

Fighting unjust and repressive management is the exact same thing as fighting repressive government.

Also cutting fibre lines and knocking phone service to a police station is exactly what you would do in the later case. Ask yourself: why is it that 45000 people all decided that they were angry enough to have that happen? And why are they the guilty party and not the management who let the situation come to that?

Usually a double-game (5, Informative)

UPZ (947916) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160758)

Historically, corporations have been found guilty of paying goons to join strikes and cause damage to the corporation, thus harming the union movement and themselves appearing to be innocent victims.

Re:Usually a double-game (1)

itsenrique (846636) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160782)

Mod parent up. This is known to people coming from more liberal backgrounds I guess, but everyone should be aware.

Re:Usually a double-game (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160800)

[citation needed]

Re:Usually a double-game (0)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160932)

Please, a citation so people can verify what you are saying, and or do more research if the topic interests them.

Re:Usually a double-game (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161004)

Wikipedia has a very good article, actually:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_spies
  With many relevant sources.

  Or you could listen to the Governor of Wisconsin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tr6zX1Z6sI
  Although, in this case, he didn't actually do it.

Re:Usually a double-game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161068)

I don't know of any corporations that have been caught doing this lately, but Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was caught on tape saying he thought about planting troublemakers, but decided against it only because he thought it might help the other side. (No mention of immorality, or illegality of course)

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_40c3dfbe-402c-11e0-8c68-001cc4c002e0.html

Re:Usually a double-game (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161098)

Looking around I came across this. It at least used to happen, whether is still does, I can't say either way. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

"...However, these tactics may not be good, and the union spirit may be so strong that a big organization cannot be prevented. In this case our man turns extremely radical. He asks for unreasonable things and keeps the union embroiled in trouble. If a strike comes, he will be the loudest man in the bunch, and will counsel violence and get somebody in trouble. The result will be that the union will be broken up."

Re:Usually a double-game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161198)

"In a 1913 account..."

How about something from THIS century??

Re:Usually a double-game (1, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161014)

Historically, corporations have been found guilty of paying goons to join strikes and cause damage to the corporation, thus harming the union movement and themselves appearing to be innocent victims.

Sure, 100 years ago. So that makes it OK for unions to become the thugs now? I suppose the "european americans" need to pay reparations to "african americans" to make up for slavery, too?

Re:Usually a double-game (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161202)

No, the point is that history repeats itself more often than not..

Re:Usually a double-game (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161096)

Oh, so *that's* what happened in Wisconsin! Jeez, now I understand all the videos of dissenters getting the shit kicked out of them by "union" thugs. They were hired by the governor and his mafia allies!

Re:Usually a double-game (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161104)

When GM was bailed out the bond holders got screwed, investors got screwed, they lost all of the money, so who won in that deal?

Union workers got their victory. It was a bail out to the union workers and all of the private debt of the failed company was put onto the shoulders of tax payers, because now they own this company, which is going to fail again.

Obama also appeals to GM drivers that their warranty [youtube.com] will be made whole by the government, so now not only the unions got bailed out, but GM drivers are also bailed out, again, with more tax payer money.

Of-course GM drivers are also tax payers, but Honda drivers are not covered by this GM warranty.

Now Ford union is threatening to strike [bloomberg.com] and they don't care if the company goes bankrupt now, that they saw GM and Chrysler bail outs (moral hazard).

Not only did Ford get the short end of the stick when its competitors - GM and Chrysler were bailed out, but now the moral hazard created by the bail outs can cause Ford to be destroyed if it gives the unions what they want or it can be destroyed by the union itself, which now believes that even if the company goes bankrupt, it will be bailed out.

--

This is how this game is played now if you are an investor: fuck you.

If you are in a large politically connected union, you are bailed out.

If you are American tax payer: fuck you too. You are now the proud owner of these failed businesses with all these insane obligations to the unions, whether you like it or not.

Re:Usually a double-game (0)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161224)

Yes we all know contracts are valid only when they benefit the rich people. Divinity forbid that the corporations be held to the contracts they signed with the workers.

Basically, if you think you cannot afford a certain level of salary/benefits, don't hire the workers. If you do, you are responsible -- to your eventual bankruptcy -- for upholding your part of the bargain. If you cannot hire anyone at the miserly salaries you are proposing, rethink you business.

and historically it is more union members (0)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161156)

who do the actual damage. Unions also hire protestors as well, usually not paying them but a little over minimum wage and never extending them benefits.

Sorry, btdt, have many relatives who have been or still are in unions and the shit they talk about (a few boast) would make you wonder if they ever graduated high school.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160856)

No kidding.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (5, Informative)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161028)

In Europe, these union acts aren't illegal at all. After all, how do you expect the right to strike to matter if the company can just hire replacement workers? Unions simply don't have enough power in the USA.

Not sure why people dislike them. Maybe it's another anti-socialist thing.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161124)

In Europe you can also choose which union you want to go to. Even if you are not joining a union, you still have the same rights,

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161184)

Not sure why people dislike them. Maybe it's another anti-socialist thing.

Because they harass people at their homes, bother their children, trespass on people's property, block people into their homes, and try to force their way into people's homes. Then, after they change the rules regarding a union vote, they claim interference when they still lose(it was perfectly fine for them to stand right outside the employee parking lot handing out fliers, but apparently it's vote tampering for the company to actually advertise to the employees the date of the votes. How can you claim to represent the employees when you don't want them to participate?). I have all of this information from first-hand accounts of some of my coworkers(and myself) when the company I work for was recently under a union vote. These were not isolated incidents, these were systematic tactics being employed by the unions. This is why Americans dislike unions. They harass you and intimidate you to force you into something you don't want and, in the US, if a union vote passes, you have exactly 2 choices: join the union and pay them for the privilege of working, or quit. And remember, once a union is voted in, it is virtually impossible for it to be removed or decertified.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (4, Interesting)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161234)

Maybe it's because someone doesn't have the right to demand that a company not hire a replacement when they don't show up for work? Maybe, if you are easily replaceable, collective bargaining is your only method of getting the wage or benefits you want. But you do not magically gain the right of stopping someone else from working. You don't get the right to blockade the property of another.

Right after this strike, a customer lost their phone line. No dial tone. Just a tad suspicious. Especially when they called the repair line, and they were told "Don't you know we're on strike? Unless there is a 911 emergency, too bad."

After two weeks, this business customer called me about setting up their new internet connection not reliant on the phone line. They already had the equipment. Not as good of a system for them, but I set it up. After some other issues cropped up with not having a tradition POTS line to work with, I contacted Verizon Repair. I was repeatedly disconnected. Finally, I called a residential sales line, and got a real live person. I explained the 2 week outage and the horrible customer service my customer received (Remember, it's the customer's existence that gives that idiot a job). She seemed genuinely sorry that the customer had this extended outage, and explained that while she was in residential service, she was trying to get a hold of someone down the hall in business services. While we waited, and talked, I told her that I had never had someone at a call center offer that kind of service. She expressed disappointment that the people who were making such a fuss were giving the rest of the employees who were still on the job a bad name.

I was shocked by her openness, and based on some other comments, her obvious intelligence and education. I told her that she should not be working in a call center, she should be an entrepreneur with a more direct relationship with customers. In this way, she would be more directly and greatly rewarded for her excellent customer service and focus.

She then told me that in fact, she was filling in. Her normal position with the company was in fact in a more executive capacity (I won't mention what, but it wasn't in the call center arena at all, and was instead in more mid-level non-tech functions).

It all made sense. She is likely a well-compensated, happy employee with some ambition. She strives to improve herself and her worth to her employer, and got rewarded for it. Indeed, she is likely perfectly able to be that kind of entrepreneur who goes on to make peoples' lives better by providing customers with things they want or need, and people with more jobs.

It is the foundation of the most powerful economy in the world. Instead of trying to get someone to pay you more than your position is worth, you make yourself worth paying more by increasing your value.

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (2)

theGhostPony (1631407) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161166)

Corporations committing criminal acts in order to make a profit. No wonder sensible folks don't like them.

And your point was...?

Re:An offer you can't refuse. (4, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161242)

There's quite a bit of editorializing in the OP...

Queue the union hatred (4, Insightful)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160726)

While your salary and pension are pissed away so that a few well connected assholes from rich famiilies can get richer. Nicely done, libertards!

Re:Queue the union hatred (0)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161220)

I believe the phrase is "Two wrongs don't make a right". Just because you're employed by a bunch of criminal arseholes doesn't make it acceptable for you to act like a bunch of criminal arseholes in return.

Blah (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160732)

Poor Verizon. Profits have only doubled to $4.6 billion (http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/25/verizon-profits-nearly-double-but-miss-wall-street-expectations/) and yet it's trying to cut benefits to its workers.

Another corporate-sponsored propaganda piece brought to you by "anonymous"

Just what I've come to expect from Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160746)

Businesses are always the helpless victims in every situation, striving their hardest in the face of the brutal attacks from those evil people who have to work for a living.

I'm sure the union people are all communists anyway; I heard it on TV.

Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (5, Insightful)

leftie (667677) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160750)

Nothing about the $252 million the top 5 Verison executives were paid the last 5 years. Nothing about Verison demanding cuts from workers when Verison profits were up.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160766)

Maybe that's they were worth? If the executives were not satisfied with their compensation, they could have left.

That's what workers could do as well, except instead they engage in corporate sabotage aka, strike and try to extort the company.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161044)

If the executives were not satisfied with their compensation, they could have left.

That's what workers could do as well,(snip)

How does that change anything? They'll just hire new people who do like to be fucked in the ass financially.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161138)

They'll just hire new people who do like to be fucked in the ass financially.

And why is any of your concern? I love the paternalism and low regard of other peoples intelligence shown by people like you.

I just fucking pwned you bitch.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (1)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161052)

Maybe that's they were worth? If the executives were not satisfied with their compensation, they could have left.

That's what workers could do as well, except instead they engage in corporate sabotage aka, strike and try to extort the company.

HAHHAHHAHAHAAHAHAH!!HAHAHHAHHAHHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH!

Oh, wait. You're serious?

DIAF.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161236)

Maybe, but Verizon does carry $53 billion in debt. Of course private companies always do a better job than the Government. They make money. They don't manipulate numbers to the advantage of those at the top. No, they're smart business men. Look how much they pay themselves. It proves they are smarter than the rest of us.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160874)

Want some ownership stake? Then buy some stock, dividend paying last time I checked/owned. Yeah, right, only rich people can own/buy stock.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (2, Insightful)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160916)

Really? The fight was over $1000/yr per employee? $252 million is a big number, it's fun to claim people are greedy, but that's not nearly as big a number when you divide it over the number of years, and the number of employees who were striking.

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161016)

It is when you consider that Verizon has been making a lot more profit. http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/25/verizon-profits-nearly-double-but-miss-wall-street-expectations/ [engadget.com] they made four+ billions of dollars in PROFIT in a single quarter. They want to reduce employee benefits/wages at the same time. These workers should strike - at this point the company has shown they don't give a shit about them, and that the only way they're going to keep the same benefits they have now is to show Verizon that it can be hurt worse by taking them away. Henry ford said: There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible. You see what's missing here?

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (3, Insightful)

grumling (94709) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161114)

That profit came mostly from the wireless business (which is non-union), not the old wireline side.

Why should the union benefit from non-union labor's productivity?

Re:Sounded like a Verizon corporate press release (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161152)

The non-union labor isn't benefiting either, so your questions is a false dilemma.

Two wrongs... (2)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160770)

I can't support unions when they use the same kind of illegal tactics as employers. I believe in the power of the strike to compel owners to behave responsibly. I do not believe in illegal or simply irresponsible actions to try and achieve that result.

Re:Two wrongs... (2, Insightful)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160962)

Don't fall into the trap. Such instances were incredibly rare, and Verizon behaved much worse, repeatedly calling the cops to disperse union workers who were simply using their constitutional right to assembly. Remember who controls the media, and remember how it's reported. Then compare it to citizen journalism (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy-Q5ct0AtY&feature=player_embedded) showing the exact opposite of what the summary says.

talk about a one-sided summary... (5, Insightful)

iwbcman (603788) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160772)


That summary would be a joke if it was even remotely funny. Talk about missing the plot. Everyone should be proud of the CWA and the IBEW workers who organized one of the most important and successful strikes in recent memory. Let's get the facts straight: On the eve of the strike, Verizon announced it would pay a special $10 billion dividend to shareholders. At the same time, its negotiators were pushing for $1 billion in concessions from workers. The company has made $3 billion already this year, and nearly $20 billion in the last four years.


So Verizon, which has been insanely profitable in recent years, decided to reward it's hardworking employees by attempting to slash their health care benefits, freeze their pensions, denie new hires pensions and health care benefits and by attempting to prevent new hires from organizing in unions. All the while Verizon has been outsourcing more and more positions to firms overseas. Scabs struck 15 picketers during the two week strike. And FOX news, the likely source of this so called "summary", has been demonizing the hard working union members 24/7. While Verizon shareholders are swimming in the dough and Verizon execs laugh all the way to the bank.


I personally will never give Verizon one red cent until they start to do right by their employees. Greedy friggin corporate bastards, the lot of 'em.

Re:talk about a one-sided summary... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160832)

You should take a look at how much the Union Reps earn and what their headquarters look like. They certainly are not running at any deficit. I wonder where they get their money?

Greed is a round-a-bout. With many ways to get on.

Re:talk about a one-sided summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160920)

Your summary is even worse...

"About 45,000 employees went on strike on Aug. 7, after their previous contract expired. They work in the company’s landline division in nine states from Massachusetts to Virginia.

Verizon says that it needs to cut costs in the traditional landline phone business, which is in decline as more Americans switch to mobile phones. The company has proposed freezing its pension and switching union workers to its non-union health plan, which has higher costs for employees".

For a dying branch of their business (LANDLINE)... why wouldn't they cut? Just because they make money in another division doesn't mean it crosses over to another.

Re:talk about a one-sided summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160930)

So perhaps instead of just cashing the paycheck and pissing and moaning about the companies profits, the employees should own some of the stock and benefit from the dividends. Anyone can buy stock.

Re:talk about a one-sided summary... (-1, Troll)

mrsam (12205) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160966)

Thank you for parroting the union's talking points. You can report back to Da Boss that you've done what he wanted you to do.

All of those profits that the striking union believe entitles them to fat paychecks were coming from Verizon's wireless division, which is not unionized, and growing rapidly. The unionized wireline side of Verizon has been a losing money pit, losing 30% of its wireline subscribers, over the last decade. The wireline unions struck because they wanted the profitable side of Verizon to subsidize the money-losing side's salaries, benefits, and pensions. But faced with the prospect of losing their free medical benefits (for some strange reason, Verizon decided they didn't want to continue paying their striking workers), and suddenly faced with the prospect of actually paying their own way, the union folded. They're trying to spin it as some sort of a victory, but it's a complete, 100%, total loss.

Re:talk about a one-sided summary... (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161168)

There will be fewer and fewer jobs in USA exactly because of actions like the one described above. Why risk losing your investment to the government created inflation if you are going to be demonized as an investor for wanting a return on your investment?

This will give a good example to the rest of the industries that still allow unions in their shops.

Verizon announced it would pay a special $10 billion dividend to shareholders.

- yes, the shareholders. Those bastards, who were funding the operations. How dare they to want to escape government created inflation and move their money out of the USD denominated assets into something valuable?

I wonder how many pension funds are holding Verizon shares nowadays?

The company has made $3 billion already this year, and nearly $20 billion in the last four years.

- isn't that what business is for? Investing into it to make money? Who are you to decide what is a good return and what is not, especially given the government created inflation?

by attempting to slash their health care benefits,


The workers are striking because, they say, Verizon is preparing to make wide-spread wage cuts and to increase the amount employees contribute to their health care plans and pensions, among other things. ...
Additionally, Verizon does not plan to cut or remove its current employeesâ(TM) pensions. Instead, it hopes to move future employees away from pensions and into enhanced 401(k) plans, with increased contributions from Verizon. ...
A major source of contention between the two groups is health care. Union workers currently do not pay for their own health care. The company is now asking for the union workers to do so because of the continued increase in health care costs.

The non-union workers in Verizon are paying part of their health care premiums, the union workers do not. I am amazed that Verizon didn't try to tackle that issue much earlier!

As to pensions - companies should not even be in a position where they are forced to think about workers' retirements. SS needs to go away but so must this idea that company where you work is supposed to think for you about your own pension plan!

Seriously. (1)

meowris (1988866) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160774)

"...as far as to instruct his young daughter to stand in front of a Verizon truck.." Off topic, but, how can a person like this even qualify to be a parent?

Re:Seriously. (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160796)

Well it sounds like a criminal act to me, there should be no problem finding the arrest and conviction records if this actually happened.

Re:Seriously. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37161046)

There are no qualifications needed to become a parent. Anybody can join. Whether you think this is a good thing depends on your perspective. Governments that change this policy tend to go downhill on human rights very quickly.

Slashdot has never been a neutral reporter, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160784)

I find this write-up kind of ridiculous. Two sentences in the middle that don't accomplish any legitimate reporting goal, but do bias the reader in favor of poor, tiny little Verizon and against the big, mean unions... "Illegally blocking a truck"? Are you effing kidding me? My god, I can't imagine Verizon has ever committed a act as heinous as having someone stand in front of a truck. Truly, these union fat-cats are monsters.

Take out those two sentences, and you've got News for Nerds. As it is, you've just got stupid corporate shilling and ridiculous, unthinking anti-union sentiment.

Re:Slashdot has never been a neutral reporter, but (2, Insightful)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160798)

Not someone, his daughter, a minor. He was specifically banking on the driver of the vehicle being a better person than him.

Re:Slashdot has never been a neutral reporter, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160850)

> unthinking anti-union sentiment

Um... by definition unions are unthinking by their very nature... people who are either unwilling or unable to represent themselves (ie losers) band together and let others thing and negotiate for them.

I have never been a member of a labor union, nor will I ever... because I am competent enough to represent myself.

Re:Slashdot has never been a neutral reporter, but (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161150)

You know that most CEOs have agents who negotiate for them? If unions would just worry about income for their clients, and not get involved in all the other bullshit, I'd actually be much more willing to be in one.

Re:Slashdot has never been a neutral reporter, but (5, Insightful)

mjtaylor24601 (820998) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161208)

"Um... by definition [corporations] are unthinking by their very nature... people who are either unwilling or unable to represent themselves (ie [shareholders]) band together and let others ([CEOs]) think and negotiate for them.

I have never been a [corporate stock holder], nor will I ever... because I am competent enough to represent myself.

Not that I have a particular opinion on the Verizon strike specifically, but why is collective action of capital holders the pinnacle of the modern economic system, but the collective action of laborers is destroying society as we know it?

True, it's a "peasants are revolting" line to take (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160886)

How dare those underlings undermine the fine Feudal system that has taken over two centuries to be built over Washington's grave.

And the others..? (2, Interesting)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160790)

What really pisses me off about union workers is how selfish they are, when they claim to be otherwise - it's become a cartel. Did the (incredibly foul-mouthed) union worker think of the families of the other two drivers? Of course not - all that matters is their own well being and screw the rest of the company / people. I recall working for a top university not too long ago and I was supposed to get a new desk placed for me from an office next door. I offered to do it myself when my boss told me not to touch it, as there was a union guy in charge of that. Turns out that, had i moved the desk myself, we could have faced some serious fines for "taking away his job".

Here's [msn.com] another example: instead of getting fired, teachers are getting paid to do jack shit waiting their union "trial" to make sure they really should be fired. At times, this could take years - that's right, years that teachers are getting paid full salary for doing nothing (I actually think they created a parody of this in Futurama).

Or how in 2005(?) Union workers halted NYC public transportation, significantly affecting the entire economy. My brother was right: all they care about is increasing their share of the pie, not the total size. And people wonder why I'm so anti-union.

mod me troll if you like, i don't care.

Re:And the others..? (2)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160822)

What really pisses me off about union workers is how selfish they are, when they claim to be otherwise - it's become a cartel.

Enjoy your race to the bottom. Hey - maybe you'll win!

Re:And the others..? (2)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161010)

I'm not in a union, there's no union for my profession. Sure, I don't get a pension, but my income went up 50% in 12 months. I'm not management, I'm just white collar.

Unions create a system where smaller businesses can't get enough skilled workers because they can't afford the level of benefits given by giant corporations. Unions take their dues and use them to line politicians' pockets to keep the system that way.

Meanwhile, businesses in Japan and China don't face the same costs and are able to out-compete U.S. businesses. The union's solution to this is to demand that Americans only buy American goods. I'm rather happy I didn't buy a GM car before the bankruptcy, as the warranty would no longer be valid.

I'm a liberal, but I think benefits like healthcare should be provided by the state, and I don't want one cent of my paycheck going to a union.

Re:And the others..? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160922)

Or how in 2005(?) Union workers halted NYC public transportation, significantly affecting the entire economy

Yeah, and the workers were punished for it: every day on strike was matched by a day without pay.

Re:And the others..? (5, Insightful)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160946)

Once upon a time, people looked at union worker's higher pay rates and benefits and said, "I want the same for my family." Thus, the modern middle class was born, and the gap between rich and poor was narrowed to the smallest in American hisotry.

Today, people say, "why should those union guys have it so good? I want them to suffer just like me!" And now the middle class has turned against itself, and the gap widens to historic levels. I hope it'll turn back around some day, but our corporate masters have gotten really good at turning us against ourselves, and at labor unions that exist to help us.

Re:And the others..? (4, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160988)

It's amazing isn't it? The reason being is because they've successfully taught people that they too can be millionaires. Little do they know that class jumping is NEARLY impossible.

Re:And the others..? (2)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161054)

Strange: my family made it pretty well without the need of unions to force and coerce people to do their own bidding (by, you know, actually working competitively). Furthermore, I could agree with you that, in the start, unions did serve a positive purpose. Yet the conditions and situation back then were far worse than they are now, and their demands typically involved improvements in safety - fair enough. Yet over the years, unions have become cartels to force companies to do their own bidding at the cost of everyone else (do you really think that NYC transit workers make that little? MBTA workers in Boston typically made 40-50k/year - more than what I made working in finance and actually graduating from college). Also, don't be so naive to think that unions are there to help us: they only help themselves at your cost - i've seen it happen every single time. And not to sound condescending (in all seriousness): go read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

Re:And the others..? (3, Interesting)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161192)

Actually that's a popular myth. It's a lot more complicated, but the biggest factor was the usual one - in a mature economy the only thing that increases the standard of living is technological advance. One of those advances was that the size of businesses such as the railroads required the creation of publicly-held corporations (a fundamentally democratic institution) and the need for a professional management structure. One can even see the institution of labor laws (which were indeed largely the result of labor lobbying and a popular sense of rightness) as one of those advances.

It's arguable that the unionizing of the late 19th and early 20th century accelerated the process of diffusion outwards from the centers of wealth, but it's not certain. The big labor strikes of the early 1900s can be seen just as easily as the last gasp of the old methods, rather than the first wave of the new.

Re:And the others..? (1)

cebarro (596789) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160980)

These workers didn't ask for ANY increases. The company showed up and asked for 20-30K in givebacks per employee and wouldn't budge on ANYTHING.

Re:And the others..? (1)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161086)

Perhaps you're right. Yet that's absolutely NO excuse to use your little girl as a roadblock and make threats and intimidation to coerce others to stop doing their jobs just because you don't like the situation you're in.

Re:And the others..? (5, Insightful)

br00tus (528477) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161116)

Less than 7% of private workers in the US are unionized, yet you see it as a "cartel". Verizon has a monopoly on land lines in the North East and mid-Atlantic (with AT&T and Qwest covering 99% of the rest of the country), yet you don't see that as a cartel. Verizon, Sprint and AT&Tmobile are three companies who also control over 99% of US wireless, yet you don't see them as a cartel. The wealthiest 1% of the country, most of whom inherited all of their wealth, owns the majority of bonds, over 40% of stocks and so forth - but they're not a cartel.

The average, working, wealth-producing person is not cartelized at all in the US. The rich parasite heirs who you worship are who rules the US. One of the reasons the US economy has had sluggish growth for decades, while the second largest economy in the world, China's, has been growing at 10% a year for 30 years. Not much will change in that respect in the US - the mass of boot-lickers like you, along with the fundamentalist crazies, will succeed in holding the US down as the rest of the world passes it by...

Re:And the others..? (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161228)

Oddly enough, the Chinese economy is at least an order of magnitude more stratified than the US economy. Nearly every medium to large business in China is owned by the PLA, its friends, and a few zillionaires. While the mean individual income is about $7500 pa (way up in the last three decades), something like 90% of the people live on one or two dollars a day. And independent unions are illegal.

Oh, and by the way - I don't have the numbers handy, but the wealthy in the US are more likely to have started out poor than in any other country in the world. A huge percentage of millionaires in the US made the money themselves, and another large percentage are in the second generation.

Re:And the others..? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161120)

My brother was right: all they care about is increasing their share of the pie, not the total size

You could say the same about anyone in a capitalist economy. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with capitalism.

Re:And the others..? (2)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161200)

On the contrary, I'm one of the most capitalist people you'll ever meet. Capitalism is about improving the product and increasing benefits for everyone involved through voluntary trade (voluntary being the key word here). What's going on here is NOT a form of competitive, voluntary market, but rather one group of people forcing others to stop their work for their own personal reasons. This is not capitalism; not by a long shot.

Lets be sure to place the blame in the right place (1, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160806)

Obamacare [commentarymagazine.com] ... for just the same exact reason as I am losing my much loved health insurance plan as well.

"If you like your plan, you can keep it" my arse.

One-sided propaganda (5, Insightful)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160816)

TFA does not post any corroboration and nothing from the the side of the strikers.

Without further evidence, I'm going to write this article off as anti-union propaganda.

Mart

Re:One-sided propaganda (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160996)

Like many of the people in these comments, apparently.

Re:One-sided propaganda (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161056)

Are you blind? The majority of the comments at +1 or higher are Union-bashing, taking TFA entirely at face value.

Mart

Slanted Summary (5, Insightful)

andrew_d_allen (971588) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160824)

I don't normally find such slant in Slashdot summaries (except when it's pro-open-source, obviously, which is part of the reason I come here). Using the word "illegal" and "criminal" repeatedly to describe one side of a labor dispute is just beyond the journalistic pale. I know this is "citizen journalism", but it doesn't have to read like some anti-union blog.

Re:Slanted Summary (1)

cebarro (596789) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160990)

The damage done was both criminal and illegal. And complete bullshit if it was done by striking union members.

Relevance To Non-US Readers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37160926)

At least from the article summary, this story does not seem to have any scientific/technological interest.

Evil Unions (5, Informative)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | more than 3 years ago | (#37160936)

Yeah, unions sure are evil! Thanks, Slashdot! Let's ignore instances of striking workers helping scabs to make sure they don't get hurt. (Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/19/1008575/-As-Verizon-uses-inexperienced-replacement-workers,-delays-mount [dailykos.com] ). Let's also ignore that they're trying to cut their wages and benefits even as Verizon has experienced record profits.

Strike (4, Insightful)

br00tus (528477) | more than 3 years ago | (#37161030)

This is the worst the Verizon strike-busters could come up with? It perplexes me how many news stories I've read about how "one union picketer even went as far as to instruct his young daughter to stand in front of a Verizon truck to illegally block it". If you watch the video, HE stands in front of the moving truck, which stops. Then she walks over of her own accord. Then the instruction part comes in, he tells her to stand in front of the stopped truck alongside the cameraman who is obviously standing there as well in front of the stopped truck. She holds up her sign, the cameraman films. Then he goes over and yells at the scab who took his job for less than a minute. As happens every time, they then let the trucks go through.

Illegal is a great word. It is illegal to murder and rape. It is also illegal for me to loan one of my DVDs to a friend so that he can copy it to his computer. It is illegal to smoke marijuana. In virtually all industrialized countries but this one, what is illegal is for scabs to replace striking workers. In the good old, God-fearing, Libya-bombing, Iraq-bombing, Afghanistan-bombing USA though, it is illegal for workers to delay scabs from taking their jobs.

Verizon is one of the largest examples of a company which does nothing but profit from its monopolies. It spends tons of money on state and federal lobbying, and has a lock on a portion of wireless wavelength, and an almost total and complete lock on the local loop. The majority of its stock is held by the very wealthiest of Americans (over 40% is held by the wealthiest 1%, and the 51% mark is only slightly larger), and the majority of those people inherited virtually all of their wealth. The majority of the majority owners are heirs who sit on their asses and expropriate dividend checks from not their government-lobbied, government-granted near-monopolies, but the people in this video, the people out there doing all the work and creating all the wealth for the company.

I know the USA is a piece of garbage, ruled by these rich parasite heirs, aside from their religious wacko pals and other assorted asocial Tea Party nuts, so there's not much use getting over-exerted about any of this. The words criminal and illegal really mean nothing here. Before World War I, for workers to form a union in the USA was itself a criminal act. It was illegal. As I said, in other countries, these scabs replacing striking workers is illegal. In the good old USA workers replacing the scabs taking their jobs is illegal. Just like breaking DRM and all the other nonsense. We are all slaves to these rich parasite heirs trying to extract money from their monopolies and the wage slaves they have working for them. It's naturally American to be filled with vitriol and hatred for the average working class Joe standing with his union brothers to try and earn a living wage. Following authority, passively licking the boots of the lazy rich heirs who own the majority of Verizon stock, with Almighty God watching over all is the natural order of things. The reward will be in the "next life".

(and WRT to who references to who owns stocks, is an heir and such, you can consult sources like the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, Forbes 400 richest list and other sources).

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