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Verizon Employees End Strike 591

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-to-business dept.
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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Verizon Employees End Strike

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

    • Re:2 weeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by crashumbc (1221174) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:58AM (#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? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cob666 (656740) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:31AM (#37161088) Homepage
        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? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by datapharmer (1099455) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:42AM (#37161148) Homepage
          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? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mikelieman (35628) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:59AM (#37161238) Homepage

          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....

          • Re:2 weeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by cob666 (656740) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @12:13PM (#37161316) Homepage
            So, following your logic: If an employee has a contract for total compensation of X dollars which includes $1000 per month in health insurance. When the insurance premiums go up 10% the following year, the union employee should then pay the extra $100 because the contract was for a fixed amount? The article mentioned that the contract had expired, I see NOTHING wrong with a new contract that requires that ALL employees pay a portion of health care costs.

            In the real (non union) world you don't negotiate for 'Total Compensation' in dollars, you negotiate for salary (which is usually a fixed amount) and benefits (which are usually not fixed).
          • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @01:30PM (#37161858)

            The problem is health care costs are going up, substantially. Verizon cannot shoulder all of it, so they are asking for workers to pay some as well. Verizon cannot afford to give the equivalent of a 10-20% raise to everyone, especially in a bad economy for a field that is losing a lot of customers (wireline access).

            The fact is, things change, and the workers cannot be expected to be insulated from all changes. Or at least non-union workers cannot.

            • by bjourne (1034822)
              Um.. Verizon's owners take home several billions quarterly [engadget.com] in profits. They should be able to afford not to cut their employees compensation.
  • by WorBlux (1751716) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:24AM (#37160714)
    Unions committing criminal acts to "bargain". No wonder a lot of people don't like them.
    • Agreed. Workers should be treated fairly, but if they don't act legally, screw 'em -- they should've been arrested and fired.
      • by bhartman34 (886109) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:37AM (#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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by WorBlux (1751716)
        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.
        • really? Any references?

        • by Dahamma (304068) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @02:01PM (#37162050)

          Can you provide *any* citation or proof for this?

          Here's what I found:

          "Pickets have no immunity from prosecution for committing criminal offences and they have no right to compel others to stop or to listen to the pickets' views. However, employees and their trade union representatives picketing their own place of work are immune from civil legal action for inducing others to break commercial or employment contracts with the employer involved in the dispute."

          The immunity is to *civil* action for inducing someone else to break a contract. There is no immunity for inducement/conspiracy to commit a criminal act.

    • by UPZ (947916) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:34AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by magarity (164372)

        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?

    • by BenoitRen (998927) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:21AM (#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.

      • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:50AM (#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.

      • by Vidar Leathershod (41663) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:59AM (#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.

      • by Libertarian001 (453712) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @02:25PM (#37162208)

        My wife's grandfather had his back broken by union thugs because he was teaching his fellows how to read and write English, which was screwing up the union votes.

        My grandfather was beaten up by union thugs because he would not hire any laborers, let alone union, to help him build, paint, run electrical wiring, etc., in his general store and tailor shop. (this would be a building with a single room apartment that my father lived in and worked out of until he was 15, where he and my grandparents were the only employees)

        I like the idea of unions. I do not like their implementation.

        • by Eskarel (565631)

          And in the same era, corporations hired thugs to beat striking union members. Whatever your opinions of unions try not to judge them based on what happened to your grandfather in an era were there was a much larger rate of violence on both sides.

      • by spune (715782)
        Exactly. American unions have been unable to effectively strike because almost all common forms of strike activity and solidarity are illegal. It is illegal to refuse to manufacture with scab materials. It is illegal to strike without authorization from national union leadership who have been bought off by the company in question. It is illegal to organize a general strike. Unions in America can't even enforce actual picket lines -- they can merely stand around outside asking nicely for scabs to respect the
      • by gmhowell (26755)

        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.

        The anti-union sentiment stems from a number of sources. Various people will give one reason or another, but they all devolve back to corporate propaganda at some nascent point.

        So first 'root' cause would be "if I'm a good worker, why do I need a union?" This harkens back to idiotic, Calvinist notions. See also: dominionism, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry.

        Next up is good old fashioned anti-socialist thinking. Whether linking union activity to socialists or (preferred in the US) communists, there is a ton of t

    • by mikelieman (35628) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @12:00PM (#37161242) Homepage

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

  • While your salary and pension are pissed away so that a few well connected assholes from rich famiilies can get richer. Nicely done, libertards!
  • Blah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:30AM (#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"

    • by fwarren (579763)

      If it is like anything else, the problem is not employees who are working. After all, it is easy enough to know if you can cover their pay and healthcare. It is retired workers that are the issue. Companies and Governments for the last 50 or 60 years have agreed to terms that both they and those in charge at the Unions knew would lead to a situation where for every working employee, there are 3 former employees being paid a retirement for 20, 30 or 40 years and benefits. That is not sustainable.

      One of three

  • by leftie (667677) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:32AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by andymadigan (792996)
      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.
      • 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
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by grumling (94709)

          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?

      • by sjames (1099)

        It's about a company whose profits are up but it still tries to cut benefits to employees while it lavishly rewards the execs. They quite rightly want to stop that trend since the corporate psychopaths certainly won't stop it on their own any time before we slip into third world status.

  • by rbanzai (596355) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:36AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hardhead_7 (987030)
      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.
    • 42,000 people and you hear about a few incidents. Sounds like most other sociopathic and brainwashed Americans, you're just looking for a reason to blame the workers and coddle the corporations.
  • by iwbcman (603788) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:36AM (#37160772) Homepage

    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.
    • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:46AM (#37161168) Homepage Journal

      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!

      • As per your post verizon was trying to reduce the benefits (salaries+pension+health care) of their employees. I realise you are a libertarian, and therefore are arithmetically impaired, but it works like that: you hire someone at some given level of benefits. If you want to change that, you negotiate. If they don't agree, tough luck, you signed the contract.

        But maybe you think contracts only apply when they benefit corporations? Or maybe you think that people can assemble to form corporations, but not union

  • And the others..? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mayberry42 (1604077)

    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 tou

    • by paiute (550198)

      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!

      • 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-compet
    • 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.

    • by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:08AM (#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.
      • by magamiako1 (1026318) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:16AM (#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.
      • 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
      • Re:And the others..? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by garyebickford (222422) <gar37bic AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:51AM (#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.

      • by ArcherB (796902) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @12:28PM (#37161446) Journal

        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.

        See, back in the Utopian day you speak of, union members were proud of their work and it was well known. You could expect on American cars to be the best, most reliable cars on the planet. An union constructed building would be one that you knew was not only up to code, but surpassed it. Union members were their own foreman and made sure that all union members were doing their jobs RIGHT.

        That's not the case any more. Now you have union members standing around waiting for the union electrician to plug something into a wall socket. You have union members enter a "job bank" requesting a job that is not available in their area and sit around and nothing for years waiting for a job that no longer exists. Now you have union members who are completely incompetent, lazy and cocky because they know they can not get fired. Now you have people literally attacking, even shooting [dailycaller.com] and vandalizing non-union shops and their own coworkers who don't join them. To make sure the operations continue, they want to make all union votes completely open, meaning union thugs may see how you voted to make sure you voted right.

        Meanwhile, you have workers that still take pride in their job who work hard and put in the extra hours to get ahead only to see their promotion go to some union member that does nothing but has been at the company doing nothing longer than you have and union rules will mandate they get promoted before someone newer. You have small businesses trying to compete getting put out of business because they are getting harassed by union members of their trade or lose out to jobs because a union may provide kickbacks to your former customers to make union work cheaper "Walmart style". You bust your ass to have a job, pay for your own benefits and struggle to pay your taxes only to see those that are paid with your tax dollars go on strike and literally shut down your government because they DON'T want to pay for their benefits. They want you to pay for your health insurance AND theirs. There are even unions that force non-union members to pay union dues.

        And you don't understand why people don't like unions any more? I too hope it will turn back someday to a day when a union not only takes care of their workers, but also guarantees that a union product is a BETTER product. When times get tough, a union is willing to make concessions, even if only temporary, to help the company make it through a tough time and ensure that everyone still has a job. I want to see a union throw a member out for showing up late or doing shoddy work. Until that happens, unions will continue to get the reputation they deserve.

        • by guanxi (216397)

          See, back in the Utopian day you speak of, union members were proud of their work and it was well known. You could expect on American cars to be the best, most reliable cars on the planet. An union constructed building would be one that you knew was not only up to code, but surpassed it. Union members were their own foreman and made sure that all union members were doing their jobs RIGHT.

          That's not the case any more. Now you have union members standing around waiting for the union electrician to plug something into a wall socket. You have union members enter a "job bank" requesting a job that is not available in their area and sit around and nothing for years waiting for a job that no longer exists. Now you have union members who are completely incompetent, lazy and cocky because they know they can not get fired. Now you have people literally attacking, even shooting and vandalizing non-union shops and their own coworkers who don't join them. To make sure the operations continue, they want to make all union votes completely open, meaning union thugs may see how you voted to make sure you voted right. ..,. etc.

          A nice bit of unsubstantiated spin and propaganda, copied and pasted from the talking points. Regardless, just substitute "management" for "union *" in the paragraphs above and you can see there's nothing unusual about unions.

          What unions do is give workers the same power to protect their interests that management has, both at the workplace and in government. There is no doubt that human beings use power for both good and bad purposes, just like both unions and management do: Some are legitimate, like obtain

    • by br00tus (528477) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:37AM (#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...

  • 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.

  • by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:45AM (#37160816) Homepage Journal

    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

  • Slanted Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andrew_d_allen (971588) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @10:47AM (#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.
  • Evil Unions (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:06AM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by br00tus (528477) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @11:21AM (#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).

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday August 21, 2011 @04:06PM (#37162876) Journal

    The discussion on these kind of topics is so vitrolic, so filled with hatred from all sides that you got to wonder how long it will be before the US just tears itself apart. Personally for me the flag waving alone is enough, nobody has to shout out that hard they are a nation standing together unless they known that it is all a lie. No American cares anything about another American unless that other person might be getting a penny that the first doesn't.

    So, some people have health care benefits and you don't. Is that a reason to hate all unions? Maybe you should fix your own issue yourselve and not demand everyone else has the same shitty contract you do.

    When even South Africa is now moving to national health care, perhaps it is time for Americans to realize the most expensive system in the world that scores as one of the worsed just isn't working.

    But hey, continue to fight each other to death over things that other countries solved over half a century ago. Meanwhile US production is going down and down and you country is falling apart around you. Fixed those bridges yet?

    2012 going to be interesting. The republicans did it this time, every single one of them is utterly batshit insane. The democrats? They can hardly get rid of Obama but the racist, oops right wingers hate his gut just for being black. Even if he gets re-elected the senate cripples him, the old US idea of both houses keeping each other in check has become a strangle hold on the nation with the tea party putting in the final squeeze. Everyone with a brain knows their ideas will bankrupt the US but they can't be ignored as the lunatic fringe they are.

    The US won't fall because someone else was smarter, it will fall because it kills itself from within. It is funny to see from the outside, you got extreme right wingers trying to determine who is the least or most extreme right winger. Mean while the roads are falling apart, education is going to hell and production has ground to a halt with everyone buying Chinese.

  • by dugeen (1224138) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:05AM (#37165698) Journal
    I detect a tiny tiny amount of bias in the anonymous reader's summary of this story. He's just a lackey hoping that the ruling class will throw him a bone if he's a good dog.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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