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Can You Hear Us Now? Striking Verizon Workers Rally For Good Jobs and Fair Contracts in New York City

Verizon has launched Scott Walker-style cuts on its workers, who've responded by building a Wisconsin-style coalition of activists.

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Yet the usual tactics ensue. Besides the millions spent on a media blitz, Verizon is also planning on suing strikers for sabotage and calling in the  FBI to investigate. While trying to endear itself to the public, Verizon is throwing its weight around, demonizing and threatening its striking workers. Though health care costs are only a part of the points of contention, Verizon focuses on that in an attempt to gain the sympathy of the many Americans who have no health care or pay entirely too much for it. 

The story’s the same whether it’s Scott Walker and his dream of a union-free Wisconsin, or New Jersey Governor Christie, another media darling, who is currently involved in another  attack on collective bargaining. There’s no distinction between corporate interests and right-wing politicians in the steps they take to discredit, destroy and dismantle unions.

Can a true coalition between unions and other progressive activist groups become a sustained force to be reckoned with against corporate interests, that launch ruthless attacks on the middle and working class?

“Unions are what built the middle class,” says Master. “Dismantling means that only the wealthy benefit from economic growth.” 

Rae Gomes is an associate editor at AlterNet and co-editor of the "Ten Things" column at the Nation magazine.

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