This put pressure on Cohen to take a tougher stance in negotiations. The union had no choice but to call a strike, ready or not. Rather than seize the moment and make the Verizon strike a focus for working people fed up with Corporate America's job-killing and wage-cutting attacks, the unions shied away from championing their members' good pensions and health care benefits--focusing instead on collective bargaining rights, which are not in question.
Verizon strike: It’s “high noon” for all workers
Apparently, CWA and IBEW leaders don't believe that the union can make a forthright public defense of the gains its members have won over the decades, whether it's a defined-benefit pension or employer-paid health care premiums--workers do have to pay co-pays and other expenses. Instead of fighting on the basis that all workers should have good wages and benefits, the CWA and IBEW talk vaguely and ineffectively about "defending the middle class. Now, with the focus of the struggle shifting to the workplace, Verizon workers will still need support.
Dozens of workers already face disciplinary action, including termination, for alleged infractions on the picket line. Others will face threats of discipline as well if they, for example, refuse mandatory overtime.
While these fights won't have the high profile of a strike, they are crucial to renewing and rebuilding the union's muscle for what could be a long fight for a contract. And the more organized and educated the rank and file becomes, the greater the pressure on union leaders to stand firm against the company during this contract fight and beyond. It's important to try and link such grassroots efforts from city to city to maximize the pressure on the company. A popular Facebook page used by rank-and-file workers to exchange information on picketing and organizing and to debate strategy will likely continue to be an important organizing tool.
E-mail lists, newsletters and websites will also play a role in consolidating the networks that emerged at workplace pickets and at Verizon Wireless store actions.
It's important for union members and supporters everywhere to do what they can to support it. Union members at Verizon ratified a four-year extension of the contract won in the strike — but we had leverage to fight for more. Some 40, CWA members in 36 states could hit the picket lines Friday in a battle over wages, incentive pay and outsourcing.
On the anniversary of a strike against Verizon, two workers discuss the importance of their victory and the lessons it holds for organizing in the Trump era. Members of the International Socialist Organization write to report that the process of disbanding the group has been finalized.
From Verizon to McDonald's, the Worker Strikes Back
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Workers in other non-unionized workplaces—like contracted cleaners for big box retail stores—have also relied on the technique. That seemed to just be a warning shot, though, as the union is now threatening a full-throated strike next month. What one-day strikes can do very well is publicize injustices and grievances, which in turn can bring pressure on elected officials or voters to remedy those injustices through legislation or ballot measures.
What one-day strikes have not done is bring private-sector employers such as McDonald's to the bargaining table.
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At Verizon, it was never the case that a one-day strike would have any effect on the company. Workers are now hoping that a real strike can still do the trick. Skip to main content. Home Politics. Justin Miller April 19, Recent workplace actions highlight two different strategies for worker gains, and the central challenges that they both bring to the labor movement.