EDITORIAL: It’s going to sound like I’m hanging up, Verizon strikers. Fact is: I am.
Photo at right drew five dozen derisive, ridiculing comments in under 2 hours; Rat, left, seems quite close to power lines.
That you would shout at scabs is one thing. That you would go after businesses whose workers are delivering services to your targets — and who play no direct role in this whatsoever — is just plain wrong. That you would threaten physical harm to anyone is thuggery.
I don’t want to hear about a few bad apples. Solidarity is won, not strong-armed. No brains, no glory.
Stand in the rain as long as you want. Post photo after photo of someone giving the middle finger to a Verizon sign. Keep rolling out those ridiculous rats, like you’re in a scene from “Animal House.”
You’ve even begun bringing your kids AND posting their pics on Facebook. “ Get em started while they are young!!!!!…. ” someone wrote. Unreal.
A union member got into a car accident on his way to strike duty and died, prompting a colleague to post that the victim’s blood “ is on [Verizon’s] hands .”
My last straw:
“ For all SCABS, if u cannot afford to miss work for a worthy cause, then u definitely cannot afford 2 pay for medical. You may want 2 rethink your options. “
This was a comment attached to the posting of a list of names AND ADDRESSES of strike breakers.
Are you actually threatening people? REALLY?
I apologize to the vast majority of you who behave civilly, who act humanely, who want to correct an injustice and protect what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. I know many of you. You are good people, honorable, providing for your families.
Unfortunately, there’s this OTHER group that doesn’t understand that NO end on God’s green earth can justify such vicious means against fellow human beings. Maybe in actual combat but not on a picket line.
WYCKOFF, N.J. POLICE REPORT: On August 9, an employee of Verizon reported that fiber optic cables were cut inside of a cable box on Sicomac Avenue. The wires, which were purposely damaged, caused phone, cable and internet interruptions to customers in the area. (COURTESY Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox)
I was ambivalent about it all — honestly — until this afternoon. That’s when I learned that many of you are actively compiling a list of ALL companies whose employees have crossed picket lines TO DO THEIR JOBS. You are sharing the list, encouraging one another to boycott those companies and to make phone calls (ah, the irony) to their respective headquarters to complain.
I can’t express how it feels to read a post urging members to boycott a particular hotel chain because scabs from out of state stayed at one of their establishments Sunday night. These are franchises, folks, privately owned.
Another group laughed itself silly over paying for food ordered by replacement workers and eating it “ infront of these fat f heads … ”
Mail carriers, utility workers, Chinese takeout deliverymen (I kid you not), locksmiths — the list of those you’ve blacklisted goes on forever…. Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Fed Ex AND UPS … Bed Bath & Beyond? New York’s AMISH MARKET?
“ Any company getting boycotted should be ‘liked’ on their Facebook page so we can comment and let all their ‘friends’ know what kinda scabby businesses they are running ,” one Verizon striker wrote. “ I just posted this on Pepsi page: ‘I am only liking this page to let everyone know what SCABS Pepsi drivers are!! Your truck crossed our picket line today in Hamilton NJ!!! Pepsi – – you just lost thousands of customers!!’ Boycott Pepsi. “
Which prompted this huzzah:
“ I called Pepsi @ the number listed and was sent to Pepsi consumer or something. I spoke to Gail, I explained the situation, She wanted to know where the picket line cross happened, I advised. She stated her husband is a Union man, and will take the information and pass it along. I advised 45,000 union men and women are out, and any business that crosses, will be boycotted. she understood. Hope it makes it up the chain of command there. “
“ I just called [Pepsi] 3 times under a diff name and accent … have my 6 year old calling now … LOL “
To think that I actually supported your cause out of the box — if for no other reason than my justifiable concern that “We the People” no longer holds any sway whatsoever in any corner of America’s free-enterprise capitalist system, that we’re at a watershed moment in our history, when the haves are taking even more while the have nots are barely scraping by on much less.
I still believe, as Woody Guthrie did, that there is power in a union. In fact, I’d go further and insist that we need them now more than ever. And that’s because unified resistance, disobedience that is civil, is sometimes necessary. Otherwise, we risk ceding all. At that point, there’s no turning back.
I posted several paens Monday — among them, “The Road I Must Travel” by Tom “The Nightwatchman” Morello; “Waiting for the Great Leap Forward” by Billy Bragg; Steve Earle’s “Christmastime in Washington”; John Fogerty’s “Fortunate Son” (performed with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band); and, of course, Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” I topped it with Tracy Chapman’s magnificent “Talkin’ About a Revolution.”
That was before I began reading your posts as part of an agreement to join your closed Facebook group so that, perhaps, I could help get your message out.
In doing so, I realized I’d made a huge mistake: I blindly supported the CONCEPT of a union — swallowed it whole, in fact — without examining the particulars here.
Today I opened my eyes. And I didn’t like what I saw. Would you propose in that case that I walk away, keep my trap shut and make believe it all never happened?
Early returns are as expected. I’ve been called an “outsider” (and that’s one of the kinder terms), that I don’t understand, that I have no idea what you’re going through — as if, at 54, having worked exactly 40 years of my life (yep: began when I was 14), I somehow just fell off the turnip truck.
There are times when strikes have worked, primarily because the leaders were bright, kept the talking points simple and never lost focus. Nowadays, we get people (or, worse, their kids) holding signs, yelling and screaming a message that comes out sounding like nothing more than: “ No way, man! “
The history of unions in this country — what may very well be the greatest union on earth — is strong. You can read up on it if you don’t believe me. Unfortunately, between union leaders today who benefit from salaries and perks their members can never sniff, and members who are apparently one post away from forming goon squads, you got yourselves a failure to communicate.
And speaking of your leadership: If they can’t control their own people, what juice could they possibly have in the corridors of greater power?
Happened with the state PBA here in New Jersey. I badgered union leadership to tell me what was going on, how they would keep Gov. Christie from enacting his many “reforms” of public servants’ health care and pension benefits without getting something worthwhile back.
“ Can’t disclose …. In negotiations …. Hush-hush …. “
What they basically did was ask me to trust them, the same request they made of their rank-and-file. “ Don’t worry, ” was the gist. “ We know what we’re doing. “
In the end, I saw membership essentially lose an entire argument — no give-and-take, no horse-trading, no concessions whatsoever. The union leaders? Still livin’ high on the hog last I heard.
As for the telcom union chiefs: You are losing the one ace in the hole you had left to play: sympathy from the American people. And you can be sure that will be shot to hell by week’s end, if it hasn’t already, thanks to the way your members have acted.
And it WILL drag on, my friends, sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. Verizon will wait you out, through a long, hot, humid month. Come Labor Day, there will be far fewer of you left standing.
To think: You had it right there. You could have appealed to the good nature of us “common folk.” We could have risen behind you.
Instead, those of you who have been chosen to lead stand idly by while members use social networking to turn on anyone and everyone who isn’t “with” you, no matter what that person’s personal circumstance is. You say nothing as they put names on lists, making some fearful for their safety. Your silence equals tacit approval.
As a result, so-called leaders, your unions face the certainty of a prolonged walkout eventually taking its emotional toll on what already are a proven group of hotheads.
And we’re only in Day Three.
Mark my words: The minute someone from this angry mob starts a riot, and people get hurt, this entire country will put you all on the “Do not call” list.
From a Long Island Verizon striker:
I bet you didn’t expect to see us at 4am this morning! We were bright eyed and bushy tailed and waiting to give you our daily union greeting. You looked a little tired…is everything ok? Pretty tricky trying to get the jump on us, but we’re a lot smarter than you think. Can you see how are tactics are changing? How it seems like you can’t shake us? Can you feel the noose tightening? That noose is called union brotherhood. See, you’ve only got yourself to rely on, we have each other and our families. When we shut you down, stop insulting me by saying. “I had no choice.” I’m tired of hearing it. Life is full of choices, you’re just to cowardly to make the right one…
See you tomorrow…unless you man up and GO HOME!!
The Noose Around Your Throat,
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