The Communications Workers of America recently won a good contract from Verizon. I’m sure there are many people who had believed that a strike is not the way to deal with a large corporation , especially a billion dollar multi-national one. a union that does not have a majority of the workers under there contract is at a great disadvantage. A strike in these times doesn’t bring the company to their knees. CWA did a great job of Showing the rest of Labor how to do it. First and foremost they attempted to negotiate in good faith until they knew the time was right. The monetary losses to Verizon were minuscule compared to their 18 billion dollar yearly profits.This creates a problem , because you can’t out spend them. In order to make it hard on Verizon they used a two prong approach. One is they took their time and strengthened their support internally by framing the issues so that the members could see the benefits of going out. two is they have been very active politically , and they timed the strike to coincide with the New York Primary for President. This gave them a window of opportunity that brought two presidential candidates to the strike line , because no politician can resist a good media moment that can make hem look like they are strongly supporting the middle class.
Labor should take note , the political aspect is in my opinion the linch pin to winning. CWA backs strong labor candidates , and helped start a political party in New York. These two facts help to show that involvement in the political process brings a whole new tool to the bargaining table.
One last point i would like to make is that by working with Politicians and Passing laws that help take some issues Off the bargaining table a union can concentrate on larger issues that effect their members and society as a whole .