Verizon Wireless Closing One-Third of U.S. Call Centers, Cutting Customer Service Jobs
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
Verizon Wireless announced plans last month to close six call center locations across the country, which will result in elimination of approximately 3,000 customer service jobs. Only half of the 6,500 positions currently at the affected call centers in Huntsville, Ala., Little Rock, Ark., Mankato, Minn., Albuquerque, N.M., Hilliard, Ohio and North Charleston, S.C. will remain as the company transitions to a home-based customer service representative model over the next year.
Verizon is characterizing these closures as a necessary part of its transition to a home-based workforce at six of its 18 existing call centers. But this "transition" masks the employment loss that will result.
"Workers deserve real job security," said Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 Vice President and chair of CWA's Wireless Workers United, a network of union and non-union workers organizing to protect good jobs and quality customer service. "If this is not a layoff, as Verizon Wireless claims, all workers at the six affected centers should get to keep their jobs. If workers don't qualify for home-based positions, Verizon should provide nearby office space and not force workers to relocate hundreds or thousands of miles away from their current jobs."
The new home-based jobs require workers to be able to work split shifts, weekends and holidays, have high-speed internet at home and an extra room with total quiet -- conditions that many working families cannot meet.
Verizon’s latest job cuts come despite the company's continued profitability and recent windfall from the corporate tax cuts that Congress passed last year, which the company estimates will be $3-4 billion in 2018.
Verizon Wireless has already closed 19 call centers since 2012, affecting 11,000 workers. And while House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump promised that the passing the tax bill would help working families because companies would bring jobs back to the United States, Verizon continues to use third-party contractors around the world. These contractors often pay poverty wages, boosting profits for corporate executives and large shareholders.