Unions score “major wins” in a “huge victory for all workers” proving “strikes still work”

For 45 days, Verizon workers stood strong and united, and as a result of their determined fight, defeated the company’s major giveback demands, won impressive gains, and awakened the general public to the impact that worker power still holds.

Staying focused on core issues like outsourcing and job transfers, the strike captured national attention, overcame cynical views about the union’s prospects, and now reporters and pundits are speculating about a resurgence of the labor movement in America.

Press Roundup

The New York Times
Verizon Strike to End as Both Sides Claim Victories on Key Points
By Noam Schieber
May 30, 2016

Verizon reached a series of tentative agreements with unions representing nearly 40,000 striking workers over the holiday weekend, retreating on some
of the major points of contention
, including pension cuts and greater flexibility to outsource work. [..] Some labor experts argued that these victories could reverberate through the broader economy.‘Workers over all have been greatly diminished in their bargaining power, and wages have been stagnant for quite some time,’ said Jeffrey H. Keefe, a professor emeritus at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, who has studied the telecom industry for decades. ‘I want to see the details of this contract, but this may be a real shot in the arm for unions.‘”

Salon
New life for the labor movement: The Verizon deal is a huge victory for all workers
By David Dayen
June 1, 2016

One would expect trade-offs out of any labor negotiation, but CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers appear to have gotten a good deal. That’s perhaps because of shares falling at Verizon during the six-week strike, and analysts slashing revenue estimates. Even CEO Lowell McAdam admitted that installations and new orders dropped significantly. I guess it’s hard to get work done without trained workers. [..] Moreover, this puts wireless employees at Verizon under a union contract, and if that expands over time, the calculation by management to expand the parts of their business with the lowest labor costs no longer applies. That could mean a boost for FiOS, which is good for workers and customers, since it’s a popular service. [..] The labor movement has suffered a lot of blows lately: a victory of this type that can be built on in the future is sorely needed.

Reuters
Verizon, unions agree to pay raises, new jobs to end strike
By Chuck Mikolajczak
May 31, 2016

“A tentative deal between Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and leaders of striking unions includes 1,400 new jobs and pay raises topping 10 percent, the
company and unions representing about 40,000 workers said on Monday, hoping to end a walkout that has lasted nearly seven weeks. One analyst called the
deal ‘very rich’ for workers at Verizon, the No. 1 U.S. wireless provider, which reached the tentative pact with the Communications Workers of America
(CWA) on Friday.”

Reuters
Verizon Caves to Striking Workers’ Demands: (VIDEO)
May 30, 2016

WNYC
Verizon Strike: A Victory For American Unions?
June 1, 2016

Bianca Cunningham, a former Verizon wireless employee in Brooklyn and a union organizer at her store, was fired from her job last September. She has filed
a grievance with the labor board claiming she was targeted for her organizing, though her case is still pending. Cunningham tells The Takeaway that Verizon
did not expect to face such financial, political, and public pressure as a result of the strike. Steven Greenhouse, author of ‘The Big Squeeze: Tough Times
for the American Worker,’ explains what this strike means for labor relations across the United States.”

WIRED
The Verizon strike proves the internet still needs humans
By Klint Finley
May 31, 2016

“Verizon said during the strike it had mobilized contractors and non-union employees to fill in for the striking workers. In practice, The Wall Street
Journal reported, that meant sending managers, programmers, and lawyers into the field to run fiber optic cables through walls and climb utility polls. The
company also advertised temp jobs. Over time, Verizon could have trained enough people to fill in for striking workers. But in the short term, the strike led to a significant decrease in new sign-ups for its fiber optic service this quarter as wait times for installations soared, CEO Lowell McAdam and CFO Fran Shammo acknowledged earlier this month. Analysts cut revenue forecasts for the company, and stocks dipped. [..] By extending contracts to Verizon Wireless staff, the unions are increasing their relevance to the company’s future, surely to the chagrin of Verizon executives. But for now, the company just can’t do without them. The Internet, it turns out, still can’t run itself. Staying connected still requires people.”

Gawker
Striking Verizon Workers Win Major Gains in Deal with the Telecom Giant
By Hannah Gold
May 30, 2016

“After nearly seven weeks of striking, 40,000 Verizon employees will go back to work on Wednesday after inking a deal with their backpedaling corporate overlords.”

Gawker
Strikes Still Work
By Hamilton Nolan
May 31, 2016

“Strikes work. Strikes have always worked. Strikes still work. Pro-business forces like to deride unions as socialist parasites, but strikes are, in a sense, one of the purest free market actions that workers can take: the refusal to sell labor at a price that is deemed too low. [..] As much as workers need wages, businesses need labor even more. The free market has not raised your wages in decades. The government has not raised your wages in decades. You need to raise your own wages. Organize. Then strike. It’s always good to be reminded that it works.

Salon
Verizon workers earn “big gains” after historic 45-day strike; Sanders applauds them
By Ben Norton
May 31, 2016

“Bernie Sanders applauded the Verizon workers for their historic strike. ‘This strike has been emblematic of the growing gap between our largest corporations and front line workers when it comes to living standards and employment security,’ he said in a statement.”

Christian Science Monitor
In Verizon contract deal, a larger victory for unions

By Max Lewontin
May 31, 2016

Some workers said the contract talks marked a successful effort, especially in reversing a trend of the increased use of contract workers and potential pension cuts. I am extremely relieved that we have a good contract from what I am reading,’ Fitzgerald Boyce, a Verizon field technician who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., told Reuters. ‘To be able to keep our benefits and actually increase the number of union jobs is a great thing.’”

CNN Money
Striking Verizon workers score raise and bonuses
By Alanna Petroff
May 30, 2016

“The main sticking points were over complaints about working conditions, call center closures, pensions and jobs getting shipped overseas. [..] The labor dispute has taken a toll on Verizon’s business. Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO, said earlier this month that it’s been harder for the company to sign up as many new customers as before the strike began.”

Politico
Management Concessions at Verizon
By Brian Mahoney
May 31, 2016

“Brokered with the help of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director Allison Beck, the deal preserved many of the
call center jobs that the company had planned to outsource.”

Newsy
Verizon Workers Score Major Wins With The Deal To End Their Strike
By Grant Suneson
May 30, 2016

Labor union Communications Workers of America and Verizon reached an agreement Friday, and it looks like a big win for the workers. Terms include $1,250 in bonuses and annual raises for the next four years, as well as some profit sharing from the company. Verizon will also add 1,300 unionized call center jobs on the East Coast, even though it wanted to shut down call centers in the U.S. to move them overseas.”

USA Today
Striking Verizon workers to return Wednesday
By Kevin McCoy
May 30, 2016

Nearly 40,000 striking Verizon (VZ) workers are scheduled to return to work Wednesday after reaching a tentative agreement on a new contract that provides
gains for both the communications giant and its employees.”