Heard about the Verizon union strike? It’s going about where you’d expect.
“We don’t do that, and nobody in the union leadership supports any of that,’’
Apparently the cables cut their own throats shortly after the strike started. Coincidence!
The union is, of course, claims to be the victim here.
…the CWA said it has received nearly two dozen reports of Verizon picketers being hit or narrowly missed by company vehicles driven by Verizon managers or non-union workers.
Obviously union picketers are playing chicken with traffic in hopes of terrorizing “scabs” or actually causing wrecks. Oh, does that seem cynical?
Here’s a guy holding his own daughter for ransom.
In theory, private sector unions would be acceptable organizations as long as they weren’t granted a monopoly. Any other group or individual would be free to compete against them, just like everyone else in a free economy. Of course, they wouldn’t be competitive either.
Unions are foul, and they turn people foul. They should be as reviled as any other bloated plutocrat robbing the public via monopoly.
UPDATE–Have you no shame, Grandma?
There is absolutely nothing new about this tactic. It’s part of the CWA playbook. Most recently, it was used against AT&T in 2009, but it’s been a standard feature of every major CWA strike against an operating company, going back to the late 40s.
I know this stuff because I was a CWA member for over 20 years, up until last spring. I used to work for Alcatel-Lucent, the direct descendant of Ma Bell’s Western Electric Co. I spent much of that time as a CWA steward and officer of my Local. That experience contributed greatly to my steady move towards the Right.
Never once have I seen or heard CWA ask it’s members not to do such things. And even though it’s more than obvious who did it (a member), their response is always to deny, deny, deny.
Unionized telecom workers are some of the most passive-aggressive human beings anywhere.
Congrats on resisting the mind control! It can’t be easy, judging by how few manage it. I don’t hate unions because of union members; I hate them because of what they do to union members.
And non-union members, of course.
Heh. You would have loved being a fly on the wall when I ran for Local president.
Same thing happened in California when then SBC went on strike. Someone entered two communications vaults under the street in San Jose and one around San Mateo someplace and cut fiberoptic cables with what appeared to be bolt cutters.
Whoever did it knew exactly what they were doing.
NOTE: unions account for about 8% of working Americans. They do not represent working families, they represent political machines.
Yep, that’s the same incident I mentioned in my earlier comment. If my memory serves me, they hit two different manholes in order to sever both sides of a SONET ring, to defeat its inherent redundancy.
There is absolutely no way that was random.
It was the old MFS fiber ring now owned by AboveNet that was hit hardest. It also took out 911 response service to Morgan Hill and a few other places South of San Jose. It also knocked Verizon wireless service off the air in some communities as that ring was apparently used for voice backhaul.
I know all about how passive aggressive they can be. For example, PacBell back in the day had this thing they called the 100K club. Which was just a sort of running joke in the organization about how they could get their pay jacked up to 100K by working over time. For example, if I wanted to turn up a T1, there would be no way they would do that during regular business hours. I would have to wait until exactly 5PM to get a tech on the line and turn it up. Same with troubleshooting. I would call all day and get no traction then at 5pm, bingo, a call back.
The worst organization I ever worked with was MCI back in the mid to late 80’s and the best was Sprint from about the same timeframe. MCI would constantly deny it was their problem and Sprint would go out of their way to get the circuit up. A tech from Redondo Beach personally drove a cable to a customer site in Costa Mesa at 11pm because PacBell was apparently intentionally wiring all Sprint installs incorrectly. He knew exactly what the problem was and drove a cable over to me that thwarted PacBell’s attempted sabotage.
I’ve been a member of that club myself, as a matter of fact. Yes indeed, maintenance windows are a great income enhancer.
I was an installer, and the wireless companies were the absolute worst. They wouldn’t even let us in the switch room except between midnight and 5am, and of course our shifts ran from 10pm to 6am. That’s two hours of built-in goof off time, every single night.
There’s too much evidence that they’re non-competitive to think of them as anything other than monopolies.
As little sympathy I have for Unions (if I ever meet the president of the Grocer’s Union, there will be a crime committed), if I were a Verizon employee, I’d be royally torqued off too. Despite very substantial profits, they want concessions from their workers, without offering anything back as far as I can tell. It’d be one thing to demand a greater contribution to their health care plan, but offer more money to make up the difference this time. Nothing pisses workers off more than the boss’s pay going UP while theirs goes down.
I cannot agree.
For one thing, this is just yet another replay of the exact same contract dispute the two parties have been rehashing since at least the mid-90s. Both parties insist on playing hardball and with maximum brinkmanship, and they always wind up signing the exact same contract they had before them on the bargaining table during the first week of meetings. It’s retarded.
These are not exactly serfs or wage-slaves we are talking about here. Unionized telecom craft workers make DAMN good money, and few of them have skills that are portable to another environment. The world is awash in displaced and/or recently retired potential replacements, and has been for a long time. They aren’t highly paid because they are scarce or because they are highly trained – they got what they have via strong-arm tactics.
I can assure you with great confidence the usual 3.25 to 4 percent annual pay increase is already on the table, there for the taking. If there is an issue surrounding health care premiums, it’s being driven by the insurance carrier, and Verizon is either already offering to split the difference or will agree to that in order to end the strike. Everybody knows that. I’ve seen enough CWA propaganda insisting that “This time it’s different!”, followed by a routine settlement that looks exactly like every contract in history, to know that’s what’s going on here.
I would be very surprised if this strike is over out-of-pocket costs that amount to more than $100 per month per employee, and Verizon’s additional expense will probably be several times that. Again… this whole thing is retarded.
The thing that has changed this time around is that Verizon’s wire line business is in decline. With things like FiOS and mobile phones, the demand for wire lines is in decline. A business now can do with a PRIs what it took many analog pairs to do in the past. Enterprises are moving to computerized VOIP systems replacing their old PBX systems. They are connecting offices over data circuits and not phone circuits. The wire line part of the business is dying. Cut to clear is the name of the game. Outside plant is a royal mess.
Verizon is now in a position to be able to cut the number of people in that part of the business of it doesn’t like the terms of the deal. They have more leverage than they had in the past.
So, the union’s members respond by pissing off what customers are left. Brilliant.
Yep, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
Horse-drawn buggy manufacturers keying the sides of everyone else’s Model T’s. How can that not work?
And what I meant by all of that is that there is little new installation. Rather than getting the kids their own line, you get them a cell phone. Your house phone is now VOIP over the same FiOS service that provides your cable TV. When a problem is encountered today, you don’t troubleshoot it, you cut it and move to a different pair. The skills required in that part of the business are declining. It doesn’t take a genius to cut a pair and cross connect to a different one.
It’s been obvious for a decade that POTS service is on its way out. Heck, in the Seattle area I don’t think we put in more than five or six new switch mods (5ESS) during my last five years (for wireline customers).
But clearing trouble by abandoning cable pairs… by default? Yeah, I would guess their outside plant is a mess… and getting messier by the day.
It was only 15 years or so ago that the telco up here would hire contractors to recover dead pairs, and I think they used to pay something like $300 each, because that was cheaper than running new cable.
Then again, I suppose someday there will be a big business in removing cell sites, too.
I live on a short cul du sac of about 10 houses. As far as I know, I am the only one on my street that still has a copper POTS line. The rest get their service via various triple-pay vendors (Comcast and AT&T Uverse here) and their phone service is now VOIP. I wanted a phone that works even when the power is out for a few days. I live only about 3 blocks from the CO and so the path is pretty good but all new plant going in these days is intermediate fiber or FTTH. UVerse is intermediate fiber where it is fiberoptic to a distribution panel in a box up the street and then breaks out to the homes over copper and they install a new low-loss drop (what amounts to a cat 3 ethernet) to the house from the pole.
There isn’t any new copper plant going in these days from the CO. Everything new coming out of the CO is fiber. So for every customer that switches to a triple-play service, one or more copper pairs are freed up.
I have what amounts to three phone lines in my house but only one is copper. That was unheard of 10 years ago. I took out the line I had for the fax machine and use a scanner and email. 10 years ago you had people who had a line for the computer, a line for the fax machine, a line for the kids, and a line for the household phone. People have only the household phone line and most of those are not POTS lines. Everything else is either wireless, or VOIP VOIP (triple play, skype, magic jack, etc). The demand for wired phone lines is dropping like a rock and all the demand is in wireless and the data side of the house.
Thanks for bringing me up to speed. As you may have surmised, I’m mainly an inside guy and spent most of the last few years doing wireless MSCs and backbone stuff, so I haven’t hardly set foot in an ILEC office since forever. The ILECs just haven’t been buying any new hardware to speak of, not even DSLAMs, at least not from the company I was working for. Personally, I haven’t had a copper line since 2002.
Worm’s analogy seems pretty close. It’s like the guys who had jobs mucking out the old livery stable are slashing the tires on the Model Ts because nobody uses horses any more.
This is exactly what AT&T is doing in my area with Uverse:
It is FTTN as opposed to FTTH. I think Verizon is doing FTTH.