Can't Afford to Get Sick

In the phone strike, health care is a bitter new issue

The strike was widespread and militant from the start. In Boston, 14 striking New England Telephone workers were arrested for blocking the company's repair trucks. Customers in New York, New Jersey and California lost service when phone lines were sabotaged. In Van Nuys, Calif., two striking Pacific Bell employees suffered injuries when they were bumped by cars crossing the picket lines. The drivers "got angry because we called them scabs," claimed Marisa Rotondi, a shop steward for the local union. "Things are starting to get pretty bad out here."

Nearly 160,000 telephone operators, installers and repair workers in 15 states launched...

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