An Organized Workforce Critical Thinking

This three-minute video entitled “The Rise and Fall of U.S. Labor Unions” ( summarizes the history of the union movement. It is
based on information from University of California Santa Cruz Professor William Domhoff and the University of
Houston Bauer College of Business.
Some corporate boards claim executive pay is performance based; others claim it is a retention strategy to
prevent CEOs from going to another company for more money. This video shows former CEO Steven Clifford
discussing CEO pay ( and claiming that U.S. executives often
dramatically, and in many cases unjustifiably, boost their own pay to astronomical levels, leaving shareholders
and workers wondering why. He also discusses how it can be stopped.
Verizon Strike
More than forty thousand Verizon workers went on strike in 2016 (Figure 6.13
( The strike was eventually settled, with workers getting a raise,
but bitter feelings and distrust remained on both sides. Workers thought management salaries were too high;
management thought workers were seeking excessive raises. To continue basic phone services for its
customers during the strike, Verizon called on thousands of non-union employees to perform the strikers’ work.
Non-union staff had to cross picket lines formed by fellow employees to go to work each day during the strike.
Enmity toward these picket-line crossers was exceptionally high among some union members.
This image shows a group of people dressed in matching red shirts in an area enclosed with signs that say
“CWA on strike for good jobs at Verizon Wireless” and “CWA and IBEW on strike. Fighting corporate greed at
Figure 6.13 Union workers from the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers are shown walking a Verizon picket line. They are protesting Verizon’s decision to not
provide pay raises. (credit: modification of “Verizon on Strike” by Marco Verch/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)
Critical Thinking: After viewing the videos and reading above, answer the following questions:

  1. How does management reintroduce civility to the workplace to keep peace between different factions?
  2. How could Verizon please union workers after the strike without firing the picket-line crossers, some of
    whom were Verizon union employees who consciously chose to cross the picket line?

Sample Solution