Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are mining for union votes, so their pandering to the 39,000 Verizon strikers is par for the course.
Both greeted strikers yesterday at Verizon offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan. “This is just another major corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans,” Sanders said in Brooklyn. “And today you’re standing up not just for justice for Verizon workers. You’re standing up for millions of Americans who don’t have a union.”
The full-throated proclamations of support from Clinton and Sanders don’t, however, change the fact that the jobs of most of the strikers are doomed.
That’s because, as was the case with a 2011 Verizon strike, many of the strikers service the company’s shrinking landline, or wireline, phone business, or the company’s FIOS network, where Verizon is trying to reduce its role. They don’t service Verizon’s Wireless network, which provides most of Verizon’s profits.
The striking workers are complaining about not sharing in Verizon’s profits, but ignoring the fact that they are not the ones generating the profits. Why in heaven’s name would Verizon want to go out of its way to accommodate the strikers when the customer base they serve is collapsing?
All the public back and forth accusations being covered in the media, which love conflict, obscure the simple fact that the business is changing and nothing the strikers or the politicians grasping for votes say will change that.