The hammer that Verizon is seeking to bring down on its unionized workers is an important story--and the importance is being sorely missed, or at least, buried in everything I have read so far. It's a story that typifies the broad class warfare underway in America: warfare that is happening largely because corporate executives see an opportunity to defeat unions and squeeze more money out of regular people. The breadth of the greed at Verizon is a parable that we can use time and again.
The opening graf of this story starts us down the path of misdirection:
Verizon Communications is seeking major concessions from 45,000 unionized workers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, as it copes with a long-term drop in revenue and profits in its old-fashioned telephone business and intense competition in television and Internet services.
Because it isn't until the next graf that you learn:
The company earned $6.9 billion in net income for the first six months of this year, amid strong growth in its majority-owned Verizon Wireless cellphone operation. And Verizon’s hefty investment in its FiOS TV and Internet services is starting to pay off. [emphasis added]
And it isn't until way deep into the story that you learn:
The union has sought to put Verizon on the defensive, repeatedly highlighting that its top five executives received a total of $258 million, including stock options, over the last four years.[emphasis added]
Aha. So, let's see if we can rewrite the opening lead and help clarify the reality:
Verizon, an immensely profitable company, has paid its top five executives--five people--more money than thousands of its workers combined, but is now seeking concessions it does not need to run its business, concessions that will obliterate the middle-class livelihoods of the 45,000 workers who made the company a hugely profitable corporation. This is class warfare. This is unpatriotic.
See, that's the story.
Companies see an opportunity.
This has nothing to do with survival or profitability.
Corporate CEOs are sitting on a trillion dollars in cash and, rather than use that cash to create jobs, they are looking for even more cash through scams like a tax holiday on profits stashed abroad.
They are attacking workers simply because they have the power to do so.