Striking Verizon workers trip over their own feet, picket a customer's house

As most folks know by now, 45,000 of Verizon’s wireline employees went on strike this past Sunday over contract negotiations where Verizon is asking for concessions and the union thinks the company is making enough profits that they shouldn’t have to give up anything. You can feel free to choose your sides in that debate (although the argument that someone you’re working for is making “enough money” in your eyes that they should be paying you more of it just doesn’t sound like the moral high ground to me) but when pressing your arguments you should probably avoid the collateral damage of interfering with the business of one of your customers. Picketing private residences whose only connection to this conflict is the fact that they’ve got a Verizon phone line installed in their house just ain’t smart:

A Quincy mom has disconnected her support for striking Verizon workers yesterday after a group of mouthy picketers surrounded non-union repairmen and turned a phone-line fix at her home into what she is calling a “ridiculous” protest scene.

“I looked in the street and there are picketers, 10 of them or more, doing a circle around the Verizon truck,” said Karen Austin, 64, a mother of five who lives on Forest Avenue. “Every time (the repairmen) would walk up to my house they would follow them. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is ridiculous. Why are they picketing my house?”

The union’s excuse for this is that they “take to the streets because that’s where the work is done.” Of course they also say “[t]he last thing we want to do is disrupt the neighborhoods.” Yeah? Then what’s with picketing people’s homes? It’s not like someone marched you there at gunpoint and made you do it.

This bit of nonsense has certainly cost the unions any support from this woman or her family and I’m betting her neighbors are going to side with her over the picketers, who will almost surely be seen as union thugs now. Stories like this merely spread that loss of support wider. It’s an unforced error and Verizon’s management will stiffen their resolve as a result.

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