- Verizon strikers are fighting against the oppression and indignity of the American workplace.
- A labor strategy of workplace action and bold political vision is more necessary than ever.
- Part 1: Chronicle of a Strike
- Part 2: The Verizon Strike Is a Reminder That Improving Workers’ Lives Will Always Require Workplace Action
Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest
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Part 1: Chronicle of a Strike
Verizon strikers are fighting against the oppression and indignity of the American workplace.
Alex Gourevitch, Jacobin Magazine
A Verizon technician in New York City. Stefan Georgi / Flickr
5.18.16 | Bruce has worked construction for Verizon for nearly thirty years and he is on strike. Walking a picket outside a Verizon Wireless store, he explains why: “I love this job. It’s outdoors, you get dirty, you get to do things. You see that island over there, I can tell you where each of the manholes are. I’ve been in every one of these buildings here,” he says, pointing to a café, then some office buildings, a travel agency, and a few restaurants. “I don’t like not working, just standing around here. But we gotta do this. I mean, I love this job but I don’t want it for my children.”
Only a few Verizon workers are picketing this Massachusetts location, standing calmly in the signature red shirts of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) holding placards emblazoned “On Strike!”
Alex Gourevitch is an assistant professor of political science at Brown University and the author of From Slavery To the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century.
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Part 2: The Verizon Strike Is a Reminder That Improving Workers’ Lives Will Always Require Workplace Action
A labor strategy of workplace action and bold political vision is more necessary than ever.
Elizabeth Mahony, Jacobin / In These Times
A Verizon picket line on May 19, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Stand up to Verizon / Flickr)
Monday, May 23, 2016 | On Tuesday, news broke that Verizon would return to the bargaining table with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The renewed negotiations could bring to a close the largest US strike in five years, which has seen nearly forty thousand workers—mostly landline technicians but also some call-center and retail employees—walk out for more than a month.
At stake are the potential outsourcing of call-center jobs to the Philippines and Mexico, the implementation of forced overtime, the assignment of employees to other cities for months at a time, and the increased use of non-union contractors.
Elizabeth Mahony is an assistant editor at Jacobin.
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