The Verizon Strike – Reality Calling

Disclaimer preamble: The matter of labor unions does not move me either to cheers or to condemnation: neither the philosophy itself of workers banding together – now that we are many decades past sweat shops – nor as the cause of the state’s current fiscal travails. (The overwhelming responsibility for the latter accrues to our elected officials – but more on that some other time.)
45,000 Verizon workers went on strike Sunday.
I sincerely hope that they arrive at a new contract soon. It’s no more fun for employees to walk the picket line than it is for managers, et al, to work double shifts trying to service customers.
I just have one question (and a follow up).
These employees have been paying zero towards their health insurance?

Verizon wants unionized workers, who currently pay no monthly premiums for health care, to begin contributing at least $100 a month, or $1,200 a year.

And they propose to continue doing so?

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Jonathan Plante
Jonathan Plante
10 years ago

That is only point out of 47 that Verizon and the unions disagree on. Verizon has paid off media to disclose the more important facts that initiated the strike.

chuck
chuck
10 years ago

Double dip recession, a world economy on the brink.
When do the concepts of “at-will” employment and “you should thank your effing stars you gotta a job” kick in?

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

“That is only point out of 47 that Verizon and the unions disagree on.”
So the whole strike is over health insurance co-shares and whether the employees will pay $100 a month?
Are you kidding me?

michael
michael
10 years ago

“When do the concepts of “at-will” employment and “you should thank your effing stars you gotta a job” kick in?”
When we are working for food.
Good luck to the Verizon workers.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

michael,
If you want to control your destiny, go work for yourself.
The thing that kills me about the whining union dopes is that they want things guaranteed, without any of the responsibility of doing what needs to be done to assure those things.
The union dopes make me laugh. They act all tough and everything, but when it comes down to it, they got no sack to go out and take the risk and do it for themselves. Basically, they need the comfy confines of a union because they can’t cut it on their own. Real tough guys.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

“Good luck to the Verizon workers.”
Michael, really? You side with the union on this one? You don’t think they should have to pay anything at all toward their health insurance? You think it is unreasonable for them to pay $100 a month toward it? Really?

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Expecting free health care from an employer is ridiculous. Welcome to the real world. Verizon’s only mistake was providing something and then taking it away – far more offensive to the patently illogical “never move backward” union mentality than never having something at all.

michael
michael
10 years ago

My father and grandfather worked for “Ma Bell,” which has morphed into Verizon. Both walked picket lines helping to make “the phone company” a great job. Both went on to management, but remained sympathetic to the union ideals.
Verizon is turning a profit. They want more of a profit, much like Snapple did in New York, lowering wages and benefits while making record profits simply because they could in this economy.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Airlines and auto manufacturers in Detroit used to turn a profit too. Then they gave in to the demands of unions. How’s that worked out for them?

Tommy Cranstom
Tommy Cranstom
10 years ago

“These employees have been paying zero towards their health insurance?”
Jeez-what do they think they are, cops or firemen?
LOL

michael
michael
10 years ago

I’m sure there is much more to this strike than zero toward healthcare. I believe in labor unions, just as strongly as you oppose them. No surprise here, I’ll back the union.
As for Detroit, blame the unions all you want, an I’ll blame corporate greed and China all I want, and the place will still be a great example of what happens when nobody listens.

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

“I’ll blame corporate greed and China all I want”
China? Can you elaborate?

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

No no Michael, read what “jonathan plante” wrote. It’s the only point of disagreement!
Actually, when you read the articles posted, it says that the other point of contention is Verizon wants to convert the pension system to a 401k system. But the articles don’t make much mention of that. What they do make mention of is the union leaders saying that the company is trying to “gut” the health care coverage. “Gut” it? $100 a month? I often wonder if these people actually believe some of the stuff they say.
“As for Detroit, blame the unions all you want, an I’ll blame corporate greed”
Huh? Corporate greed killed Detroit? You know what fuels corporations and their greed? Keeping their doors open. Not going out of business. When did it ever make sense for a greedy and successful business to close its doors? What successful company decides, “I want to make even more money! I’ll go out of business!”. Is that why we don’t have Eastern Airlines anymore? No more Pan Am? Those corporations were so greedy they decided that going out of business it would benefit them even more?

michael
michael
10 years ago

I only have the generic multimillion dollar CEO arguments, nothing new or groundbreaking from me. As for China, again, nothing new, just rehashed things, the Wal-mart taking over main street arguments.
People just crack me up with the thank god I have a job stuff. It’s like we are turning into lemmings, taking crumbs and thanking our masters for them. Individual workers have value, and are vitally important to the success or failure of any organization. When those individuals organize, the individual’s worth increases.
Oh, and Mike Capelli, I opened a business with my wife two years ago, risked everything I have. So far so good, but the hundred hour weeks are starting to take their toll.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

“I only have the generic multimillion dollar CEO arguments, nothing new or groundbreaking from me.”
But I’ve never heard of that bankrupting a company. Like I was just discussing with a co-worker, the CEO prioritizes the profit-sharing, in reverse order: workers, self, company. The first cuts come from the employees, but they will cut their own compensation before putting the company out of business.
Can Verizon continue to be profitable without the unions conceding on the $100 a month? Maybe, I don’t know. What if they can’t and they think instead they’d be better off without the 47,000 employees?

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

“I’ll blame corporate greed and China all I want”
Corporate greed? China? Lol, wut?
Please do explain, I need my entertainment for the evening. Listening to this explanation should be better than everything on television combined.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Ah, missed the explanation (if you can call it that). Michael – you honestly believe GM went bankrupt because of their CEO pay? That makes no sense whatsoever. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the bankruptcy filing and proceedings, all available online. CEO pay was not a substantive issue. It was union contracts all the way.
Please do explain your China argument and what it has to do with… huh? Walmart now? Do you have any idea how clueless you sound?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Michael-just because you believe in unions,doesn’t mean you should ALWAYS back them.
Did you back Walsh’s thugs going after Rep.John Brien in a courtrhouse hallway and elevator?
I don’t have Verizon and don’t give a hoot in hell about this strike.
Free health care is unrealistic.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…American companies find labor cheaper and environmental regulations nonexistent in China (or wherever) so they take their jobs to those countries. Walmart buys cheap goods manufactured in China (or wherever) and sells them from their big stores, pricing the competition out of business. People who used to be small business owners, manufacturing lawnmowers or something try to stay competitive, and start making crummy lawnmowers, the general public buys a bunch of junk and fills the landfills, quality is out the window and our way of life diminishes. Those local companies and the people working there making junk to compete with China (or wherever) go out of business and get jobs at Walmart and can only afford to buy China (or wherever) junk. Before long everybody, you too Chuck, is living in huts, breathing pollution and thanking the man for the crumbs their benefactors litter the economy with. It happens slowly, but it is happening as I write this.
There you have it, Dan, the world according to michael.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Joe, I don’t always back them. I haven’t had time to find out the particulars, giving them the benefit of the doubt because I lived through a few difficult strikes when my father was a lineman with new England telephone, then NYNEX, now Verizon.

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

“Stop me if you’ve heard this one…American companies find labor cheaper and environmental regulations nonexistent in China (or wherever) so they take their jobs to those countries”
That’s not the case anymore. It’s a global economy michael and that’s where the market is. If it wasn’t for the Asian market, GM would never have recovered. GE is building a natural gas infrastructure. The less expensive labor is more like a bonus.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

michael,
Cut the cord from your FD job, lose your benefits, and then you’ll be self employed. I’d love to see your tanning salon workers unionize. That’ll give you a lesson in business.
Unions are for wusses who can’t cut it on their own, or are too lazy. Either way, not respectable.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

This right here is my whole issue with you, Michael. You hide behind this humble “I’m just a simple Firefighter ma’am, no need to thank me” persona, but then in the next breath you take to the internet and shoot your mouth off about anything “labor,” even when you literally have no idea what you’re talking about. Not just that, it’s laziness – you could easily educate yourself about the GM bankruptcy, but instead you try to fit a square peg into every shaped hole out there to mindless defend your union brothers and end up making the most stupid arguments imaginable, like blaming China and Walmart for GM’s financial troubles. Then you’re too damn proud to ever back down. Know your limits, Michael, have some genuine humility. And just because a union is involved somehow doesn’t obligate you to immediately run to their defense. Unions do a lot of good. They do a lot of bad too. Acknowledging that simple reality would save you a lot of trouble.

michael
michael
10 years ago

un-shun…That didn’t make a lick of sense, Dan. The Verizon strike is about far more than a 100.00 co share for health insurance. If you bothered to read what I write without thinking about arguing my point you might find truth in the simplicity in my arguments. My “world view” is far from the core of what is going on in the world, economically and socially. It is as easily criticized as it was for me to write. But there is truth is what I say, fundamentally anyway. A lot went into GM’s downfall, not simply the union contracts, or simply the executive salaries, or the superior product from Japan. I’m not writing a thesis here, just giving my opinion, and your incessant attacks and superior attitude is kind of boring, therefore I am re-shunning you…

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Michael – My comments made perfect sense, and I challenge you to explain specifically why you feel that they do not. GM’s bankruptcy had very little, if anything, to do with executive salaries (“corporate greed”). Nor was it due to competition from Japan (Japan now? Not “China”? You sure?). The company was actually doing fine at the time it filed for bankruptcy and was otherwise turning a profit, it just couldn’t meet its excessive contractual obligations with the union, which needed to be restructured by the bankruptcy court for the company to be viable again. This is all well-documented and contained within the bankruptcy filing and court proceedings, available online. Please educate yourself or stick to issues with which you are actually familiar, like emergency medicine. I know it’s easier to live in a fantasy world in which all unions everywhere are wonderful, but the reality is that some of them have brought down good companies and governments with their unreasonable demands and selfish dealings. If you don’t have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that simple fact (you can still support labor generally), then there is no point in anyone listening to you.

Jonathan
Jonathan
10 years ago

I made a typo; Health care is only ONE of the 47 points they disagree on. Verizon leaders have paid off media to not disclose the other points. They only advertised the health care disagreement because it makes the union workers look like the bad guys…
The CEO makes $55,000 a day, and the company did not pay taxes last year. Apparently they had a bunch of tax write-offs for who-knows-what. This will be out in the open soon, so everyone can stop bashing the workers. Not anyone’s fault though, people were misinformed, and I added to it by having a typo in my previous comment.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

“Verizon leaders have paid off media to not disclose the other points.”
You got proof of that or is libel ok in your world?
How come when the union demands are put into the media, the explanation is “Hey, it’s called *negotiations*” but when the business’ demands are put into the public, it’s “Look at what these scummy people are trying to force upon the workers!”

Jonathan
Jonathan
10 years ago

Libel is not okay in my world actually, and I’m sending this proof to Monique – someone who has not insulted me and accused me of making false statements. You’ll see these after she decides what to do with them.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Monique, you now have proof that Verizon has “paid off the media” to not cover the story? If that’s true, you have one heckuva scoop on your hands.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

I wonder if there is a 12-step program for Kool-Aid. Michael sure needs one.
I read yesterday that the strikers are already sabotaging Verizon’s lines. Just what I would expect from a bunch of union thugs. If I were a Verizon manager I’d fire them all and hire the new trainees permanently.

Phil
Phil
10 years ago

If I were a Verizon manager I’d fire them all and hire the new trainees permanently.
Posted by BobN at August 12, 2011 10:32
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My regal robes of the forest, would be satin, not cotton, not chintz.
I’d command each thing, be it fish or fowl.
With a woof and a woof and a royal growl – woof.
As I’d click my heel, all the trees would kneel.
And the mountains bow and the bulls kowtow.
And the sparrow would take wing – If I – If I – were King!
Each rabbit would show respect to me. The chipmunks genuflect to me.
Though my tail would lash, I would show compash
For every underling!
If I – If I – were King!
Just King!

Chuck
Chuck
10 years ago

“I never got a job from a poor man”.

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Tracy Hamilton Mitchell
10 years ago

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Tom Kenney
Tom Kenney
10 years ago

I hate to have to say this but you all are either stupid or lazy (as Dan likes to say) or are just so convinced that unions are evil that you don’t care about the factual content of your posts.
It is ABSURD to even think that the strike is all about $100 co-share for health insurance.
And shame on Monique for beginning this post on that assumption!

chris
chris
10 years ago

You people really think this is about $100.00 for health coverage???? Shows how un-educated you are about this, as well as how Verizon only tells a portion of the story, and the public buys into it because Verizon said so… The fact is they want to give us a 30% paycut. YES 30%, pay into benefits, take away holidays, like veterans day, (what a insult to Americans), freeze pensions, remove pay differential, outsource work to other countries, and the coe makes 55k per day. How much is his healthcare? The top 5 exec’s for this company made $258 million the past 4 years. The union built this company and maintains this company. If it were not for the union, the company would not be as profitable. Stop the corporate greed….. Get more facts before going on rants about “you should be lucky to work.” I have the right to work, and deserve a fair contract. If more people sttod up for these right, less people would be on welfare and paying into local taxes, which would relieve the burdon on everyone. Not to mention Verizon did not pay their share of taxes, and got a tax break on healthcare. How’s that fair????????

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