Verizon Strike Ends, For Now

Posted on August 24th, 2011 | by A Worker |

Here’s another good article from Labor Notes.

Jenny Brown
|  August 22, 2011
CWA Local 9510 rallied in southern California August 17 in support of the strike. Photo: Unity at Verizon.

After 15 days on strike, 45,000 Verizon workers will march into work on Tuesday after extracting an agreement from their stubborn employer to bargain. The Communication Workers (CWA) and Electrical Workers (IBEW) will be working under their old contracts while talks continue. They agreed not to strike again for 30 days.

During the strike, which stretched from Virginia to Massachusetts, Verizon was unable to provide timely installation and repairs, and reports of outages plagued the company. In addition to pickets at hundreds of worksites, unions and community groups picketed over 1,000 Verizon Wireless stores, say union leaders.

The end of the strike was greeted with mixed feelings. While most strikers are relieved to return to their jobs, many calculate that going back without a new contract will take the pressure off and that Verizon will go back to its old tricks.

“We all felt the power we had while being on strike,” said Erin Small, a shop steward in New York’s CWA Local 1101. “I am afraid of losing the energy we had. We were obviously having an impact on how much work the company could get done.”

Even members who were happy to go back to work worried about the long-term impact.

“People I’ve spoken to were not pleased we were going back under the old contract,” said Anita Matthews, a central office technician and shop steward in New York. “We should have stayed out till we got a contract and we would have gotten what we wanted.”  Read the rest

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