Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Verizon, unions: Novel approach to labor relations

Interesting comment on the end of the Verizon strike from Karen Boroff, Ph.D., a management professor and former dean of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University

Verizon, unions: Novel approach to labor relations

Karen Boroff
Karen Boroff Seton Hall

Interesting comment on the end of the Verizon strike from Karen Boroff, Ph.D., a management professor and former dean of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. (What follows are her words).

Verizon and its unions, the CWA and the IBEW, have agreed to end the work stoppage, with employees returning to work without a new contract.  The parties have announced that they have structured a way to continue to bargain about some of the difficult issues, while employees will continue to be paid under the labor agreements that had expired. 

(You can read my Inquirer story about the strikers returning to work by clicking here.)

This is a novel arrangement, especially since Verizon had alleged worker sabotage during the strike.  It is unusual that, amidst the tension that typically accompanies a strike, any employer would give access to employees back to the workplace, and especially if there were already concerns about alleged destruction of company property. 

At the same time, it is unusual to see a union, whose major weapon in a strike is withholding the labor of its members,  then agree to have its members return to work with no discernable return on their strike sacrifice.  There is enough in the current scenario for both managers and unionists to second-guess the strategies of their higher-ups. 

But, the beauty of private sector collective bargaining is that the parties can reach all sorts of arrangements on their own, with accountabilities for decision-making are easier to trace.  Furthermore, the company and its unions have to keep in mind maintaining a wholesome and ongoing relationship, so what may appear to be clumsy half-steps to the onlooker may be just what is needed long term to provide stability and ongoing viability for both Verizon and its unions.

Inquirer Staff Writer
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter