Verizon: union win

Stannard67 at Stannard67 at
Mon Aug 21 21:26:34 PDT 2000

In a message dated 8/21/2000 9:33:09 PM Mountain Daylight Time, chuck at writes:

<< My criticism was about the fact that winning a contract, while something

rewarding to Verizon workers, is small potatoes compared to what they could

be asking for. And let me go a little further on the limb. What's the point

of winning better conditions for what are basically shitty jobs? In the short

term, yes, better conditions are worth striking for, but in the end, who

wants to spend their lives working in a customer service center? >>

Two things visible here: 1. "compared to what they could be asking for" 2. "who wants to spend their lives working in a customer service center?"

There's a reason why leading revolutionary theorists eschewed "blueprints"--it is the way in which a good theorist balances her/his analytical normativity with her/his self-admitted lack of working-class revolutionary experience. And it's something all of us in the labor movement HERE have to face: we haven't seen a revolutionized working class. To put it bluntly, who are we to judge?

But there exist criteria for positive and negative reforms. In fact, there probably exist several possible criteria. But none have been introduced. If you want to yawn at moderate victories over unrewarding jobs, could you at least offer a theory of what can be expected and whether this particular victory gets us closer to it? And can you walk that delicate line of not silencing working people while offering your model? If so, I will listen to you, and I imagine others will too.

stannard who has had some "shitty" jobs too and still would have thought it outstanding to be one of over eighty thousand people on strike...

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