Tonight, the current contract between AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) and the Communications Workers of America expires, and I don't think anyone really expects the two sides to agree to a new one before it does. After all, that's what deadlines are for right? (Just ask the FCC.) Yep, we all get to watch yet another game of union chicken, and yet doesn't it feel a bit scripted? We get to watch them posture over tired old issues, then blame each other for not playing nice both before and after the inevitable short strike of a few days or hours, and finally come to the backroom deal we all know they will reach.
Do they really mean it this time? By they I mean both sides of course... Are we in danger of a prolonged dispute? I very seriously doubt it, there is little to be gained. In this economy, both sides would quickly be blamed for fiddling while Rome burns. But they both have to pretend like there is something at stake, so they don't look weak. It feels almost like two schoolyard boys who have to fight or lose face, but don't really want to - so they put on a bit of a show and make sure a teacher (let's just call him Mr. 'O') is nearby to break it up.
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