Verizon Workers Strike International Labor Relations Case Assignment

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Business Finance


The course name : Labor & Industrial Relations

Case Paper Assignment: Fully describea national or international labor relations event/conflict within the past 5 years, making the case for each side. Then pick a side and provide a comprehensive rationale for why you chose that side. Examples of labor relations events/conflicts include organized protests, work stoppages, arbitration cases, and lawsuits. The paper may reference notes and materials provided in the course, but most of the content should originate from outside of class with at least three different references cited. The case paper should be at least 8 (including small pictures, graphics, tables, quotes, etc.). Papers must be typed, double-spaced, using 12pt. font with one-inch margins, page numbers, with a title page (title page does not count as a page) that includes the student’s name, assignment and course number. All papers must use APA or other appropriate guidelines for citing materials that are not the original ideas of the student.

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The Rogue Capitalist

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The Verizon Workers Strike

The Verizon worker's strike of 2016 was a labor dispute involving Verizon
communications and its 40,000 employees. The labor dispute which began was organized by the
Communication Workers of America (CWA). The strike that began on the 13th of April was
triggered by micromanagement of employees via a quality assurance system where employees
were interrogated for hours and handed unpaid suspensions. A strike was in the offing once the
firm also shut down American work stations in favor of outsourced workstations in the
Philippines and Mexico as they required low wages. The firm capped the pension concessions to
30 years hence accessing the powers to send employees in faraway work stations and thus they
could not be near their families anymore. The CWA wanted a fair work contract to ensure a fair
wage and flexible working hours as well as pension and healthcare concessions. Verizon argued
that it had the autonomy to meet the needs of its customers and its financial obligations to
stakeholders by freezing the pension at 30 years, allocate employees as per the client needs and
also maintain the flexibility to hire the relevant workforce in light of the high costs of labor. The
strike ended after 45 days after the flexibility demands of the firm were defeated and an
additional 1,300 jobs were offered new contracts that met the threshold for the negotiations of
both sides. In this article, I describe the details of the Verizon labor conflict with CWA, dissect
their cases and choose a justification of the Communication Workers of America's position.

The CWA's Position

Even though Verizon claims that the workers received an average of $130,000, the
worker's union disputed the claims by claiming that the real figure was $74,000 due to
deductibles (David Goldman and Aaron Smith, 2016). The workers also complained that the



company was offshoring jobs to the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. The firm
had refused to offer a contract to the non-unionized employees hence creating poor working
conditions as well as the exploitation of the employees. After a strike and some negotiations, the
firm offered a 7.5% increase in wages and salaries but the employees felt that the increase was
not enough considering that they already were feeling unhappy with the long hours of work, lack
of job security, lack of an increase in healthcare concessions and a freezing of the pension at 30
years (Pressman, 2016). The company had also been embroiled in a similar labor dispute in 2012
before the current contract had been achieved and thus the Trade Union was not in a position to
negotiate favorably with Verizon since it had taken a tough stance on the negotiated terms and
not fulfilled its contractual obligations. According to Ken Beckett, one of the employees at the
firm, "The main thing is that's it's taking good-paying jobs and taking them away from the
American public".
The company also tried to reverse health benefits concessions for its employees which
had high premium deductions, high out of pocket costs and high deductibles without
consultation. Moreover, the firm had tried to micromanage employees via a quality assurance
system that allowed harsh interrogati...

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