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

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 16 Jul 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Walmart unions

    Fine, let's go point by point, and further, since you're points are kinda long:

    1."1) If those small businesses go out of business because Walmart shows up, then they probably deserved to go out of business."

    That's an absolutely ridiculous, big-box piece of propoganda, and it's a lie.

    "Walmart offers cheaper prices and better selection (and 9 times out of 10 far nicer employees - no surly attitudes!) for consumers, so if the small businesses can't compete with them, it means they're doing it wrong."

    That's certainly a possibility, but more often it means that they're too small to afford lobbying efforts which result in the sweetheart real estate deals, government subsidies, and tax loopholes that lead to Walmart being able to offer cheaper prices etc. etc. This idea that Walmart is able to do what it does ONLY because it is more efficient is simply a misunderstanding of how big box companies operate on a national and local level.

    "Survival of the fittest - it's how capitalism works."

    Fine, when we actually bring free market capitalism back to America, your viewpoint will make more sense. Until then, no go.

    "Oh, and those 5,000 employees who lose their jobs at those small businesses? They go over to Walmart and get a job there, with better benefits and rewards for doing their job well, whereas their previous job had nowhere to go but down"

    Do you have even a single shred of evidence to back that statement up?

    2. "Some" unions? Do you even understand what the point of a union is? Unions exist to force employers to do what they want, and to use the government to back them up"

    Another ridiculous statement. That is what some unions do, namely the larger ones. But unions were created not to force employers to do what they want using the government, but to keep employers from abusing their workforce (often with the aid of the government). There's a balance somewhere in the middle, but pretending that employers didn't start this whole thing to begin with is a lie.

    "The problem with unions is that they tie the hands of people actually running a company and force their will on them, while taking money from both the company and the workers. They are a leech on the economy and the best companies out there right now are ones that are disassociated with the unions."

    The best for whom, exactly? And btw, the companies on Forbes' list of best companies to work for largely are NOT unionized. You may see this is as proof of your point, but I actually think it's proof of mine: if firms treated their employees fairly to begin with, no unions are necessary. I think that's why you see a larger union presence in older industries, and industries like tech tend not to have them.

    "The better job you do, the more benefits you get. That's how things work in a free market. You do a good job, you get rewarded for it."

    That's the way it SHOULD be; it isn't now, not in unions OR non-unionized firms. And again, we don't have a free market. Pretending otherwise is silly.

    "Those fatcats got where they are by working their butts off and doing their level best. Yes, every so often you'll see cases of nepotism but by and large if someone's in an executive-level position, they fought like a dog to get there."

    Where the hell are you getting THAT idea? According to the study below, over half the GDP is generated by family-run companies, and only somewhere between 10-40% of firms actually HAVE an anti-nepotism policy. So....nice try. Inherited wealth in this country is ridiculously high. The worst part of all this is that these business criminal assholes THEN get placed into government power, having never worked for a day in their life, and given the power of sending our servicemen all over the globe in order to line their pockets serving their former corporate masters.

    "I really have to wonder - did you think "The Grapes of Wrath" was historically accurate? Does your concept of unions come from Hollywood's various portrayals of them? Because it doesn't sound like you're a very informed person."

    Yay, my thoughtful analysis backed up with statistical data vs. your fantasy and insults. Nice job, fucktard.

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