Verizon Communications Inc., (NYSE:VZ) the largest wireless communications service provider in the United States, has decided to close five of their service centers across the country after a string of strikes hit the company recently. On Thursday, the company announced that their service centers will be closed in five states. However, the release said that this was for consolidations of operations.
Verizon Communications, last July, purchased the internet properties of Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) for $4.83 billion.
The Affected Workers
3,200 workers are likely to be affected by this. 1,000 of them are close to Rancho Cordova in California, while 850 are near Orangeburg and Rochester in New York. Call centers at Meriden in Connecticut, Bangor in the state of Maine, and Lincoln in Nebraska are the others that will be closed down.
Many of the affected workers will be relocated to the firm’s other call centers. The Governor of New York, though, has complained that the centers are closing because of “corporate greed”. Condemning the move, he further said that the decision was “reckless”. He said that this was “corporate abuse”.
One day before the announcement, Andrew Cuomo, the Governor was notified of the company decision.
The call centers will officially close only in January. However, many of Verizon’s employees have expressed their frustration as they will now have to relocate so that they can keep their jobs.
Hard Dealings With the Labor Unions
The company has been forced to deal with strikes for months. It has likely affected their business and corporate image. Last May, 40,000 customer service specialists and technicians of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) ended a six and a half weeks of strikes after a series of negotiations with two unions – the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communication Workers of America. It was seen as a victory for the unions as the business had to raise pay by 11 percent.
These new call center jobs and the pay rises were all in the wireline business of the company. So they are not related to the wireless centers that are going to be closed down, a company spokesperson said. “This is a separate service”, the person added.
The wireless company, based out of New York, also had to add 1,300 call center jobs and 100 network technician jobs in the East Coast. However, the business was able to avoid increasing post-retirement healthcare plans, disability and accident benefits, and employee pensions.