Verizon Closing Call Centers in 5 States, 3,200 Jobs in Jeopardy

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Verizon plans to consolidate its customer operations, and relocate its telesales and BGCO operations, potentially displacing 3,200 non-union workers.

The key driver behind this decision, which includes closing call centers in five states, is to “realign our real estate portfolio and customer service operations to make the best use of extra capacity in the remaining locations,” the telco said.

Call centers are being closed in California, Connecticut, Maine, Nebraska and New York.

“This was a very difficult but necessary business decision,” the telco said. “We value our customer service employees. They are highly trained, skilled and experienced, and they will be encouraged to stay with the company.”

About 3,200 customer call center employees are being asked to relocate outside their home geography to centers performing customer service or seek other positions with the company.{ad}

Employees who wish to visit another call center to explore the area and new work environment will be offered two paid days off to visit sites, as well as reimbursement of travel expenses up to $500, Verizon said. If an employee chooses to relocate, they also will receive relocation assistance starting at $10,000, it said.

Eligible employees unable to relocate or who do not find other assignments with the company will be offered individual separation packages and outplacement help, the telco said.

Verizon spokesperson Kim Ancin said employees located at these centers will be relocated to call centers in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolinia, Tennessee and Texas.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) criticized Verizon, saying the telco “will be able to send even more work to the Philippines, where it already operates call centers, and to other overseas locations.”

“This is exactly what customers, communities and our country don’t need,” the union said. “Verizon likes to brag about being the nation’s biggest wireless carrier. It’s time for Verizon to step up and provide the quality service that customers want, by keeping good jobs in our communities.”

In June, nearly 40,000 Verizon wireline employees from Massachusetts to Virginia returned to work after seven weeks on strike. Verizon made a handful of concessions — a 10.5 percent wage increase over four years, additional hirings and more job security — in order to end the strike.

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