The Problems Of A Legacy Business: Verizon's Union Freaks Out That Verizon Wants To Look Forward

from the what-a-shame dept

It's really sad to see some of the struggles that legacy businesses go through in trying to adapt to a more modern world, but not all of it is the fault of those businesses themselves. Look, for example, at what's happening with Verizon. Subsidiary Verizon Wireless -- which is 55% owned by Verizon -- began a marketing campaign pushing people to ditch their landline phone and go completely wireless. That's not a bad marketing campaign (and, in fact, might be a very good marketing campaign these days). So what happens? The union that represents Verizon's landline telco workers flips out and accuses the company of trying to undermine the union by helping Verizon get out of the landline business, so it can get rid of those workers. Seriously. First of all, there's little evidence to suggest that's true. Like most traditional telcos, Verizon still sees its basic landline business as a useful cash cow that I'm sure it intends to milk for as long as possible. Chances are, since VZW is a separate company, the marketing plan had nothing to do with the parent's marketing efforts. But, either way, at some point the company should be pushing customers to ditch landlines and other older technologies and embrace better solutions. Not because it puts old union guys out of work, but because it's where the market is headed.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: landlines, markets, mobile, progress, technology, unions
Companies: verizon, verizon wireless


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 16 Jul 2009 @ 4:43am

    Just Like The Penn Central Railroad

    Well, folks, here's how it worked with the railroad:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penn_Central_Transportation_Company

    The holding company loaded the railroad up with debt, and set it up to go bankrupt. The federal government took the railroad over, and bailed it out, and held it for a few years as Conrail. The federal government wound up paying for labor buy-outs. In fifteen years of government operation, of course, a lot of people reached normal retirement age. The parts of the railroad which operated primarily for the public good went to Amtrak and a bunch of municipal commuter agencies. Most of the long-distance components, eg. the tracks from Boston, New York and Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, and Chicago, eventually got sold to commercial railroads, CSX and the Norfolk Southern, and merged into their systems. A lot of branch lines which were neither for the public good, nor profitable were simply scrapped, or "abandoned." The factories they led to typically moved to the Deep South, and eventually to Mexico and China. Likewise, the coal mines in places like Pennsylvania closed down because they could not compete with Wyoming coal, and the railroad lines leading to them went, too.

    Presumably the telephone reorganization will work much the same way.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.