Thursday, April 14, 2016

FIOS and cable Verizon consumers may face long outages in CWA strike; can management really climb utility poles and do this kind of work?

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has gone on strike against Verizon Communications, after months of working without a contract, as explained in this ArsTechnica story by Jon Brodkin   There were vocal demonstrations in Falls Church VA and Brooklyn NY, before the debates.

Verizon claims non-union, management people have been trained to do the work, which is mostly landline service and perhaps FIOS.  I wonder if white collar computer workers are really prepared to climb poles.  I did “strike duty” for NBC on a soap opera in 1976 and learned to operate a sound boom (and avoid boom shadows).

But “Patch” warns that the strike in practice could leave some Verizon cable and FIOS customers without cable for weeks if there are outages.  I personally would not switch to FIOS from something else during the strike, and the union obviously expects consumers to force the company to settle, with almost a kind of Bolshevist solidarity tactic.   I don’t think wireless is affected;  but I just checked my own hotspot.  It was a little slower than usual.

Verizon has its own account of the strike here.  My experience with Comcast is that it seems to hire contractors to do the work (not union employees).  What about Verizon?

Update: May 31

Verizon and the union have settled, for four years, and people return to work June 1, WSJ story.

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