Friday, May 27, 2016

Verizon strike over?

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

So the strike is over is it?  Reading the government statement below doesn't encourage me to feel too confident major gains have been made. I am used to the trade union officialdom referring to defeats as victories so we'll have to see the fine print. This is of course a statement we have to ignore: "I have observed firsthand the parties’ good faith commitment to narrowing differences and forging an agreement that helps workers and the company." How can an agreement between such parties help them both?  The other thing is that if there was such good faith and the workers were out for a month when they had no reason to be, will the company pay them back pay. And what does it mean to "narrow the differences".

The other thing is this: The statement from the government official below says, " Indeed, these two interests are inextricably intertwined."  This is the Team Concept, from the mouths of the other side of the team, the boss.  This idea that workers' interests and bosses' interests are inextricably linked is false. It is false like the argument that higher wages lead to higher prices is false or that you can get 8 hours pay for 8 hours work is false. If that latter were the case what would be in it for the capitalist? How do they get a cut?

Ideas have a class base. The Team Concept philosophy is the bosses' worldview not workers.  Do my comrades, brothers and sisters reading this think that the dominant ideology of feudal times, that the king was king by "divine right", by the will of god, sprung from the head of the serf out there bailing hay and  mending fences? The guy whose future bride the king could sleep with on the night before the wedding, a right the king gave himself.  Of course not, it was the aristocracy's, the king's idea. And having control of society and its institutions, priests, bishops and other flunkies, the king and his buddies (the feudal aristocracy and the clergy) made sure that idea got a lot of press in the pulpit on Sunday. How can you argue with creator? You can't.

I always put it like this when discussing it at work. In the English revolution, the private landowners and rising capitalist class supported by the peasantry, the rural workers of the time, rose up against the landed aristocracy and their system. But they could only go so far. Like Bernie Sanders and others like him with regard to Warren Buffet and the lords of capital, they just wanted to make things nicer, persuade the king to act right. The king told them to piss off. He even dissolved their stupid parliament so they had no voice at all, the landowners and agricultural capitalists that is as the peasants never had any voice anyway.

"I am king by divine right" said the king. "I am here by the will of god, beware gods wrath."  It was frightening. Upsetting god was not what most people wanted to do.

Along comes Cromwell, "Let's cut off the kings head  and see what happens" he says.

God was asleep apparently and missed it. Lo and behold! A new day was born. It turns out they were being duped.

Inextricably means, according to the online dictionary, "incapable of being disentangled, undone, loosed, or solved.".  There you go. We're stuck with the system we call capitalism. There's nothing we can do. We can't have work without the boss. Nothing can be built without the boss.  The system of production we call capitalism cannot be changed; it's the end of civilization.  Who thought that up? It's the same tactic the domestic abuser tells his victim. If tyou'd stop nagging I wouldn't hit you. It's all your fault.

That's why we are taught not to think of systems of production or understand that history changes from one system of production to another. There's only one winner if we start from that position and that's the class that rules, the class that does no work and lives off the labor of others.  Let's not be duped.  

I don't believe in this period and with the class collaborationist, pro management views that the labor hierarchy holds that the bosses interests haven't been strengthened in this dispute and the interests of the working class damaged. I don't care what the union officialdom says.

From the US Department of Labor

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announces agreement in principle on a new contract for Verizon workers
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez issued the following statement today regarding the ongoing labor dispute at Verizon:

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the parties have reached an agreement in principle on a four-year contract, resolving the open issues in the ongoing labor dispute between Verizon’s workers, unions, and management. The parties are now working to reduce the agreement to writing, after which the proposal will be submitted to CWA and IBEW union members for ratification.

Throughout the past 13 days of negotiations at the Department of Labor, I have observed firsthand the parties’ good faith commitment to narrowing differences and forging an agreement that helps workers and the company. The parties have a shared interest in the success of Verizon and its dedicated workforce. Indeed, these two interests are inextricably intertwined.

This tentative resolution is a testament to the power of collective bargaining. I commend the leadership of Verizon, CWA, and IBEW for their commitment to resolving these difficult issues in the spirit of constructive engagement.

I expect that workers will be back on the job next week.”
OPA News Release: 
Media Contact Name: 

Mattie Munoz Zazueta

Phone Number: 
Release Number: 

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