[Excerpt] Sprint chairman William T. Esrey has a dream: a long-distance phone company whose fiber-optic tentacles snake across the globe to embrace European and Asian partners, snaring a chunk of the projected $30 billion market for such global corporate networks.

The workers fired en masse from Sprint's San Francisco-based La Conexion Familiar subsidiary, thwarted in their attempt to unionize, have their own dreams: among them, receiving reparations for the wrongs dealt to them by Sprint, and keeping their families out of homeless shelters.

The chasm between these dreams illustrates the bitter truth about the global economy: while the heads of executives spin with plans for ever-larger money-making enterprises, the workers on whose backs these schemes are erected face a harsh reality: increased union-busting, job losses, lower wages, and worsening working conditions.