[Excerpt] In this paper, we examine the reconsolidation of the industry, between 1995 and 2001, focusing on the merger, acquisition, and business strategies of the major corporate players; union responses to those strategies; and the resulting evolution of union-management relations and collective bargaining outcomes. We argue that the nature of the industry and technology, coupled with its institutional legacy, provides incentives for consolidation and recentralization of the ownership structure. In this process over the last decade, former Bell affiliates have sought union support before regulatory commissions, and the unions have leveraged their political power to make important gains in collective bargaining and in organizing new members. As a result, the outcomes for union members and prospects for union institutional viability are more positive than they otherwise would have been.
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