Verizon: union win

John Gulick jlgulick at
Tue Aug 22 14:12:17 PDT 2000

I will admit I have not been following the Verizon struggle very closely so perhaps someone out there can enlighten me. To what extent did/does the strike cripple firms/workers dependent on telecom services ? I know that managers were shifted to fill the positions of picketing workers, but I don't imagine Verizon had at its disposal 90,000 managers. Nathan Newman also managed small outbreaks of sabotage, such as a striker who got electrocuted cutting a transmission wire.

A rather lopsided debate has been waged here concerning the relationship between the Verizon struggle and wages/benefits/ conditions unionism vs. workers control syndicalism. I think that debate has been resolved rather successfully. Another issue which has not really been touched which relates to my above queries is this: workers may engage in militant and solidaristic campaigns over what some might regard as rather "limited" wage/benefits/conditions ends, but in the process not only become politically radicalized (trade union campaigns being the school of class struggle and all that), but also through withholding their labor-power unwittingly demonstrate the degree to which capital accumulation is dependent upon their labor-power. What to some syndicalists might appear as merely a vigorous version of business unionism and to left-liberal advocates of "social movement unionism" as a militant wages/benefits/conditions struggle is then objectively both and neither. Hence the importance of gauging the effects of work stoppages not only on the politicization of the direct producers but also on the accumulation process.

Any comments ?

John Gulick

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