Unions pushing for strikes at more companies after election

Former Verizon Wireless CEO Denny Strigl weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 29, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": This is the scene right outside McDonald's in Times Square. There's a large crowd of people saying, who took the last of the Double Quarter Pounders? I just left there about 10 minutes ago.

Anyway, OK -- but, anyway, union protesters are gathering right outside there now. That's McDonald's, the golden arches, the latest target in a post-election blitz by big labor. From McD's to Wal-Mart to one of the nation's busiest airports, to key shipping ports, big labor flexing its muscle.

And Denny Strigl says that could be a big problem. And he knows firsthand. He dealt with unions when he was the CEO of Verizon Wireless.

Denny, your view is, you have no problem with unions. You have a very big problem with unions to overstep themselves. And this going after McDonald's worries you why?

DENNY STRIGL, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO, VERIZON WIRELESS: Well, Neil, first of all, I have a big problem with unions lying to the people that they are trying to organize.'

In this case, what I have seen is, they are talking about raising the wage to $15 an hour. They have no ability whatsoever to do that. But isn't that an enticing line for the people that they're trying to organize? Of course. The people will be very interested in upping their pay by as much as $6 per hour.

CAVUTO: And then what is that going to do the price of a Quarter Pounder?

STRIGL: Well, OK, this is not good for the economy. It's not good for the companies they're trying to organize. And I would suggest that, long run; it is not good for employees.

We have seen the destruction that unions cause in companies across the United States. Neil, they served their purpose 75 years ago. I give them credit for that. But, today, unions are obsolete.

CAVUTO: Well, I don't know that I would be that extreme in the view.

Here is what I worry about, that you can overplay an election hand. Right? You can make a case, as I did earlier with a guest, the president won the election, key premise was raising taxes on the wealthy, whether you like it or not. You could make an argument he's going to get that. Now, now, for the unions though to descend on Capitol Hill as they did this week, to descend on Wal-Mart, to descend on LAX, to go to shipping ports, to go to one big company after another, and now McDonald's, this is overplay.

STRIGL: Neil, they are flexing muscle because of what has happened.

We have another four years of President Obama. They know that this administration owes the unions. They know that they have an NLRB that will be controlled by Democrats and they will have it for four years. The policies and decisions that we will see coming out of this NLRB will be union-favored. It's just a fact.

CAVUTO: You're talking about the National Labor Relations Board.

But here's something that is interesting about this. By the way, this is actually going to be good if you try to stay on a diet, because you just cannot get into McDonald's. But, by the way, the Wendy's was free and clear, folks. I just -- anyway, I have this wacky thought on what is going on here, that they could be hurting themselves severely in that -- let's say they were able to unionize McDonald's.

Obviously, the pay for those higher wages, everything is going to go up in price, maybe a lot. So, they overplay their hand, much as some argue some Democrats are overplaying their hand now with this election? What do you make of that?

STRIGL: Neil, first of all, they will not get anything near what they are telling the people they're trying to organize.

CAVUTO: What is all this about? What is all this?

STRIGL: OK. What all of this is about is trying to get people to join unions. They are trying to get people's interest. And why?

CAVUTO: But even if it’s like skipping on a pond, they will get something, right?

STRIGL: Well, they may get some interest, but the issue is union dues. That's what they're going for.

CAVUTO: All right, Denny, thank you.

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