These political elites claimed both General Electric and Verizon were corporate monsters. Bernie Sanders joined a Verizon picket line in New York and inflamed the striking employees with a host of mistruths, “Brothers and sisters, thank you for your courage and standing up for justice against corporate greed.” He accused McAdam’s company of “trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.”
While Bernie was the trumpet, Hillary Clinton was the accompanying buzzing noise, who demanded Verizon “do the right thing” and at the time of the strike to make “a fair offer to the workers.” Both did their best to inflame the historical bickering between the company and its employees .
On the telecom infrastructure side, almost all of the “access” investment is in wireless communications  these days. The old copper wires have all but been abandoned by Verizon, AT&T, and many other American service providers. As McAdam stated in an April 2016 Linkedin post, “Nostalgia for the rotary-phone era won’t save American jobs.”
For our own home, we finally made the leap from our aging copper telephone and DSL-based Internet service, for which AT&T did everything it possibly could do to try and force us off their copper network (through poor and intermittent service of its voice and Internet).
AT&T’s inactions successfully forced us to seek another access service provider . We chose Comcast’s VoIP as a replacement for the POTS we had used for decades with Pacific Bell–Southwestern Bell–AT&T. And our new Internet speed, at some 30-times faster, means we can now stream video using our Apple TV device, something that was impossible with the AT&T service which rarely achieved 3 Mb/s.
Maybe the CWA can migrate its $100,000-plus-earning members to other roles through training  that doesn’t require experience on obsolete rotary phones and copper landlines. This would be more effective for the union members’ long-term job prospects than supporting political theater . . . Just a thought.
 During the Cerent-Cisco era, Verizon was emerging as a huge telephone company through the mergers of Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, and later, GTE. The former two telcos were part of the so-called group of seven Baby Bells that came into existence in 1984; these east coast-based companies were prone to labor disputes between management and their unionized employees.
 As early as 2009, Verizon experienced their wireless data traffic more than doubling every year and mobile connections increasingly being embedded into the physical world, i.e., built into everything we touch. And in 2011, Verizon announced its plans to roll out 4G service into 59 additional markets. With that expansion, a copper infrastructure for access was abandoned in favor of an Ethernet and fiber-based backhaul (known as Fiber-to-the-Tower or FTTT). Clearly, since then, the engine of growth has been the wireless business, where almost none of the employees belong to a union.
 We cancelled our AT&T phone service, long distance, and Internet in November 2016, and replaced all of that with Comcast, and for much less cost. We retained our AT&T cell phone service, an area that the company continues to invest in.
 President Obama’s Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, spoke during a Plenary session on “Training Your Skilled Workforce” at the SelectUSA Investment Summit at National Harbor, Maryland, on March 24, 2015. Both the CWA and IBEW could do a better job preparing their respective memberships for the evolution of their members’ roles in the telecommunications sector. The strike ended in May 2016 with a new four-year contract, after Secretary Perez intervened.