Responding to a post on the Washington Times Web page, a Verizon lineman writes:
Climb a pole in 10-20 degree weather with no gloves on because you can’t properly use your hand tools to work on the telephone lines. While you’re at it, make sure you bring your voltage tester with you on top of 75 pounds of equipment that you’re carrying up with you. Make sure you knock the ice off your 100-lb. ladder so you don’t slip while you’re carrying it in the customer’s back yard.
During the summer, don’t forget to get stung by a bee or bit by a wasp, hornet or spider. If your allergies can handle it, you won’t need that mask on your face when you’re in the customers attic, crawl space or under their trailer home. Watch out for the voltage on the telephone lines when you’re working in the rain, because that just feels real great when you get zapped because you are soaking wet.
Oh, and as far as any special skills not needed…do you think it's easy to get [Internet] service going for a business that has 100-200 computers? Go ahead genius, take the test. Any idiot can do this job, right?
…These same… union employees you’re talking about spend 6-8 hrs installing service in one business or residence. Have a contractor who is paid by the job do the same install and see what it looks like. Verizon union employees usually blow off their break and lunch to get the job done. Yes, Verizon pays very fair with benefits included, and the union is willing to pay more into health care, but think about if someone came to you and said "Hey, our profits despite a decline in our traditional services, are way up this year, now we need you to take a pay cut." You would jump right at that right?...
As several people already have suggested, this is a familiar story. Managers of an immensely profitable company are demanding that those who actually produce these profits make sacrifices. The managers themselves will not be sacrificing. In fact, they’ll get their boards to raise their compensation. Rich parasites will get richer. The middle class will be squeezed harder, and everyone will wonder why consumers aren’t spending and the economy stagnates.