Executives at Verizon argue that in order to remain competitive they must have more flexibility to cut jobs and reduce benefits. In a recent speech, Verizon's chief executive, Ivan G. Seidenberg, compared the situation at Verizon to that of U.S. automakers in the 1980s when the United Automobile Workers Union (UAW) was forced to accept industry cutbacks. Union representatives have been unreceptive to the idea of forming a partnership, as they see few of their demands being met. Verizon faces the threat of a strike after their contract with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers expires Saturday night.
See Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, July 30, 2003