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Special Report | The Verizon Strike

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  • Verizon strikers are fighting against the oppression and indignity of the American workplace.
  • A labor strategy of workplace action and bold political vision is more necessary than ever.
  • Part 1: Chronicle of a Strike
  • Part 2: The Verizon Strike Is a Reminder That Improving Workers’ Lives Will Always Require Workplace Action

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Chronicle of a Strike

 

Verizon strikers are fighting against the oppression and indignity of the American workplace.

Alex Gourevitch, Jacobin Magazine

https://images.jacobinmag.com/2016/05/Screen-Shot-2016-05-18-at-9.13.28-AM.png A Verizon technician in New York City. Stefan Georgi / Flickr 

5.18.16 | Bruce has worked construction for Verizon for nearly thirty years and he is on strike. Walking a picket outside a Verizon Wireless store, he explains why: “I love this job. It’s outdoors, you get dirty, you get to do things. You see that island over there, I can tell you where each of the manholes are. I’ve been in every one of these buildings here,” he says, pointing to a café, then some office buildings, a travel agency, and a few restaurants. “I don’t like not working, just standing around here. But we gotta do this. I mean, I love this job but I don’t want it for my children.”

Only a few Verizon workers are picketing this Massachusetts location, standing calmly in the signature red shirts of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) holding placards emblazoned “On Strike!”

Alex Gourevitch is an assistant professor of political science at Brown University and the author of From Slavery To the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century.

Full story … 



 

Part 2: The Verizon Strike Is a Reminder That Improving Workers’ Lives Will Always Require Workplace Action

A labor strategy of workplace action and bold political vision is more necessary than ever.

Elizabeth Mahony, Jacobin / In These Times 

http://inthesetimes.com/images/made/images/working/cwastrike_850_593.jpg A Verizon picket line on May 19, 2016 in Washington, DC.   (Stand up to Verizon / Flickr)

Monday, May 23, 2016 | On Tuesday, news broke that Verizon would return to the bargaining table with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The renewed negotiations could bring to a close the largest US strike in five years, which has seen nearly forty thousand workers—mostly landline technicians but also some call-center and retail employees—walk out for more than a month.

At stake are the potential outsourcing of call-center jobs to the Philippines and Mexico, the implementation of forced overtime, the assignment of employees to other cities for months at a time, and the increased use of non-union contractors.

Elizabeth Mahony is an assistant editor at Jacobin.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

UAW endorses Clinton, “Wall Street’s presidential darling”

The UAW endorsement of Hillary Clinton is a marriage made in heaven, or better yet Wall Street. They both share the fear that the UAW will not be able to survive another upheaval by autoworkers who, like tens of millions of other workers, are being radicalized by unprecedented social inequality, unending wars and the turn by the corporate and financial oligarchy in the US and around the world to ever more authoritarian forms of rule.

Jerry White, World Socialist Website

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg.

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https://gallery.mailchimp.com/380cabff931cd452085b8d4a5/images/83ca8cd7-c3b9-470e-bc74-5f943712cd34.jpg27 May, 2016 | On Wednesday the United Auto Workers formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States. While the UAW’s endorsement of the Democratic frontrunner was no surprise, its embrace of the candidate with the closest ties to Wall Street and the American military intelligence apparatus is nevertheless significant. It underscores the gaping chasm between this corporatist organization and the workers it fraudulently claims to speak for.

UAW President Dennis Williams made the announcement on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” saying the UAW executive board had unanimously endorsed Clinton and “all our members will be with us.” Williams claimed the decision had come after polling members and holding “focus groups” that showed “very close” numbers for Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Republican Donald Trump got the support of 28 percent of those polled, Williams said.

Jerry White is an American politician and journalist, and is the Labor Editor reporting for the World Socialist Website.

Full story … 

Help Preserve A Major Victory in the Fight Against Income Inequality.

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Robert Reich, Democracy for America

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Money%20Pie.jpg May 20, 2016 | This is a big deal.

Because of a new overtime regulation issued this week by the Labor Department, over 13 million workers will get a raise. Starting on December 1, most salaried workers earning up to $47,476 a year will receive time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours during a week. The previous cutoff for overtime pay, set in 2004, was $23,660.

Democracy for America members played an important role in helping make this happen. In late 2014, 72,570 people signed my petition urging President Obama to expand overtime pay. In the summer of 2015, many of you submitted public comments directly to the Labor Department urging them to issue these new rules.

Together with the hard work of leaders like the Center for American Progress, the Economic Policy Institute, and activists across the country, we won a major victory in the fight against income inequality.

http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.pngUnfortunately, the battle is not over yet. Please sign my petition to Democrats in Congress: Don't let Republicans overturn overtime.

Robert Reich is an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He's the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c7/DFA_Logo.pngDemocracy for America is a progressive political action committee, headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont. Founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean in 2004, DFA leads public awareness campaigns on a variety of public policy issues, trains activists, and provides funding directly to candidates for office.[1] The organization has more than 1 million members in the United States and internationally.

Full story … 

As jobs vanish, forgetting what government is for

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Though the decline of well-paid working class jobs is often portrayed as the inevitable consequence of globalization and technological change, it is in large part the result of a failure of government.

Eduardo Porter, New York Times / Tampa Bay Times

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http://www.tampabay.com/resources/images/dti/rendered/2016/05/per_eporter051516_17212629_8col.jpg Construction on the $650 million St. Croix River Crossing bridge that will connect Oak Park Heights, Minn., and St. Joseph, Wis. Investing in the nation’s crumbling infrastructure is one way to bolster the economy. New York Times

Friday, May 13, 2016  | America has been here before.

At the dawn of the 20th century, the economy was already well into a fundamental transformation of the labor force, as industry replaced farming and crafts as the primary source of new jobs. The shift was painful, spawning protest movements and political forces like progressivism. But the United States emerged from the turmoil far more prosperous and powerful.

Notably, the jobs of the new industrial economy were generally more productive and better paid than the jobs it left behind.

Eduardo Porter writes the Economic Scene column for the New York Times. Formerly he was a  member of The Times’ editorial board, where he wrote about business, economics, and a mix of other matters.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

From Fight for $15 to the Verizon Strike: We Must Protect Workers' Right to Walk Out

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  • Strikes can be legally threatening and socially disruptive. But in the absence of any serious, social efforts to change the economy, it is perfectly reasonable for workers to defend their interests. So long as the economy is as radically unequal and oppressive as it is, workers have a right to strike. They have that right just the way anyone facing oppression has a right to resist it.
  • Related: Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich

Alex Gourevitch, The Guardian / Portside 

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https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/cwastrike.jpg?itok=nIoTcR7gThe Verizon strike is one of the biggest in years, and comes on the heels of several other significant strikes. Mike Groll/AP

April 14, 2016 | Given the new politics of inequality, there is every reason to think that strikes will become more common. So long as the economy is as radically unequal and oppressive as it is, workers have a right to go on strike. This is an uncomfortable thing to say because of what it means to defend that right.

The 40,000-person, Verizon strike on Wednesday and the Fight for $15 strikes on Thursday are just the latest examples of worker walkouts. The Verizon strikers are protesting about a host of issues, including the company’s demand for reduced compensation, loss of job security, work relocations and schedules that would require workers to spend months at a time away from their families.

Alex Gourevitch is an assistant professor of political science at Brown University. He is author of From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century and has written for magazines like Dissent, Jacobin, The American Prospect and New York Magazine.

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Full story … 

Related:

Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich, Dariel Garner, Popular Resistance 

The rich rely on us. They rely on our cooperation. They are nothing without us. As Martin Luther King said, “a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”. It is time to stand up. We all can share the wealth.

Series | The Haymarket frame-up and the origins of May Day, Part 3

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg WSWS Editor's Note: We are republishing here a series of articles that originally appeared in April 1986 under the title “One hundred years since the Haymarket frameup.” The articles were published in the Bulletin, the newspaper of the Workers League, forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party in the US.
  • The first two parts of this three-part series were posted here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

Walter Gilberti, World Socialist Web Site

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https://www.wsws.org/en/media/photos/legacy/2009may/m13-hay3-mcco-480.jpg  A depiction of the conflict outside the McCormick Reaper Works on May 3, 1886,

13 May 2009 | The ruling class was preparing for violence on the first May Day, but there was none. Instead, May 1,1886, was a historic culmination of the struggle for the eight-hour day.

More than 350,000 workers struck 11,562 establishments nationwide. In Chicago, 40,000 workers struck and another 45,000 were granted the eight-hour day without striking. Eighty thousand workers marched arm-in-arm down Michigan Avenue, led by Albert and Lucy Parsons and their children.

Full story … 

Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich

  • The rich rely on us. They rely on our cooperation. They are nothing without us. As Martin Luther King said, “a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”. It is time to stand up. We all can share the wealth.
  • From Fight for $15 to the Verizon Strike: We Must Protect Workers' Right to Walk Out

Dariel Garner, Popular Resistance

To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

https://www.popularresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Inequality.jpgMay 8th, 2016 | Like Bill Gates, George Soros, Warren Buffett and H. Ross Perot, but not as lofty, I was once called a “self-made man.” I was an entrepreneur who had co-founded over forty businesses in my career and had accumulated wealth that put me well within the top 0.01 of 1%. If people had something good to say about me, they would say I was a “marketing genius” and that I had the “Midas touch”; everything I touched turned to gold.

One afternoon I was signing some paychecks when I noticed how many people would only be paid  $20,000 in a year. I would “earn” the same amount in an hour. Why me? Was my effort really worth that much more? Wasn’t I really the same person that had worked as a janitor while attending college? Being a CEO and co-owner of a business certainly wasn’t any harder or riskier than being a janitor; if anything, being the boss left a lot more time for fun.

Dariel Garner was a member of the wealthiest 0.01 of 1%. He is the inspiration for Billionaire Buddha, a novel by Rivera Sun about a man who had incredible riches, turned his back on wealth and found everything worth living for. He speaks, holds workshops on wealth and income inequality and blogs at riverasun.com

Full story … 

 

Related:

From Fight for $15 to the Verizon Strike: We Must Protect Workers' Right to Walk Out, Alex Gourevitch, The Guardian / Portside 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/American%20Rights%20at%20Work%20logo%20%26%20banner.jpg

  • Strikes can be legally threatening and socially disruptive. But in the absence of any serious, social efforts to change the economy, it is perfectly reasonable for workers to defend their interests. So long as the economy is as radically unequal and oppressive as it is, workers have a right to strike. They have that right just the way anyone facing oppression has a right to resist it.
  • Related: Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich

Section(s): 

Series | The Haymarket frame-up and the origins of May Day, Part 2

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpgWSWS Editor's Note: We are republishing here a series of articles that originally appeared in April 1986 under the title “One hundred years since the Haymarket frameup.” The articles were published in the Bulletin, the newspaper of the Workers League, forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party in the US.
  • The first part of this three-part series was posted here.

Walter Gilberti, World Socialist Web Site

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https://www.wsws.org/en/media/photos/legacy/2009may/m12-hay2-most-200.jpg Johann Most

12 May 2009 | The political outlook advanced in the “Chicago Idea” and championed by Albert Parsons and August Spies at the Pittsburgh Conference of 1883, anticipated the later development of anarcho-syndicalism.

It was their conception that the trade unions could serve only as organizations of revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of capitalism, and not for the acquisition of piecemeal economic concessions. The “Chicago Idea” carried the majority of the conference, despite the opposition of Johann Most, who was hostile to the unions.

Full story … 

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