[Excerpt] The four-month strike by 60,000 telephone workers at NYNEX in 1989 was one of the largest and most significant anti-concession struggles of the decade.
In an era when many unions have lost highly publicized contract fights and been forced to make give-backs, the NYNEX strikers successfully resisted management demands that they pay hundreds and eventually thousands of dollars a year for their medical coverage. They also defeated the company's drive for new forms of "flexible compensation" designed to replace base wage increases and COLAs with lump-sum payments and profit-sharing.
Successful union resistance to these concessions would not have been possible without an unprecedented pre-strike program of membership education and internal organizing. The contract campaign conducted by the 30 NYNEX local unions within the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and their allies in NYNEX units represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) reflects CWA's nationwide commitment to rankand- file mobilization through the "one-on-one" approach.
Labor Research Review:
17, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/lrr/vol1/iss17/3