This is a great video of striking Verizon workers speaking about why they’re out on strike and what the strike means to them. It’s clear that these are smart, savvy, informed union members. The workers in this video are just a few of the 45,000+ Verizon workers of the CWA and IBEW who are out on strike now. Laura Clawson of Daily Kos gives more background as to what the strike is about:
A New York Times story by Steven Greenhouse is revealing, placing the workers’ view—that Verizon’s demands are an assault on middle-class jobs—against Verizon’s argument that that’s not the case because Verizon workers could take a pay cut and still be considered middle class. That’s the company’s argument: There shouldn’t be a problem driving down benefits and job security, because by some measures workers will still be in the middle class—just hanging on by their fingernails instead of solidly so.So to management, the idea that this is about middle-class jobs is just some kind of cynical talking point. And that’s probably the most revealing evidence of just how much this is about middle-class jobs, because it’s about the very definition of what it means to be in the middle class (always a nebulous term anyway). Verizon’s official position is that what used to be a middle-class job—that what Verizon negotiated in their last contract as a middle-class job—is now too good for regular working people and that big chunks of the job security and benefits it offered must now be removed for that same job to count as appropriately middle class. If that’s not an idea to fight back against, I don’t know what is.