Unions Win Big In Verizon Settlement
As I surmised, it looks like a real win for the unions as the details of the settlement with Verizon come out. Despite the headline from the Times, the unions secured almost all of what they were demanding going into the strike. Verizon caved on pension cuts and the percentage of work that could be outsourced as well as providing an 11% raise, as opposed to the 6.5% they had offered before the strike. The unions also won additional unionized call center jobs as well as covering unionized workers at Verizon Wireless stores, an area that had traditionally not been unionized. The inclusion of Verizon Wireless employees could potentially set a precedent for other wireless carriers. The only clear victory for the company was in significant savings in health care costs, something the unions had largely signaled they were on board with before the strike.
This is clearly a big win for the unions, although it remains to be seen whether this will be a boost to other union struggles around the country or whether this progress will just be limited to Verizon. But, in these times of declining union bargaining power and membership, any kind of win in a union negotiation or, especially, a strike is a big win.