For the last week, the mainstream press—largely represented by the Communications Workers of America’s subsidiaries NABET and The Newspaper Guild—has been reporting that the tentative agreement between Verizon and its striking unions, the CWA and IBEW, as a “victory” for the unions.
While the contract does give strikers increases of 10.5% spread over the four-year agreement, at least one publication is looking at the settlement quite differently.
In a post entitled Lessons of the Verizon Strike, writer Jerry White states that the “circumstances surrounding the calling off of the strike were particularly despicable.”
“The deal will shift hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs onto the backs of active and retired workers,” writes White.
“It will also give the world’s second largest telecommunications company a free hand to streamline operations by consolidating customer service call centers and prepare the spinoff of its less profitable wire telephone, internet and cable TV unit, which has already seen mass job cuts in recent years.”
If this is indeed the case, given the amount of income lost by the strikers while they picketed, a meager 10.5% may not even scratch the surface of what the CWA and IBEW gave away at the bargaining table.