With the news that 36,000 Verizon union employees have gone on strike, customers may be wondering if their phone, Internet or TV service will be affected.
The short answer from the company is “no,” as they explain that 10,000 nonunion employees were trained to take over for those who are picketing the company.
Here’s what to expect if you are a customer.
Who is on strike?
Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are striking over the cost of healthcare and pensions, among other issues. The company has a total workforce of more than 177,000 employees.
What will be affected?
Most of the union employees who went on strike work for the landline, high-speed Internet and television services division of the company – known as wireline. The jobs the striking workers perform generally include installing phone and broadband Internet lines, providing customer support and repairing out-of-service phone lines.
Verizon cell phone customers shouldn’t notice any changes in their service.
Where will customers be affected?
The bulk of those Verizon services are available only in the Northeastern states and Virginia.
What’s the worst-case scenario on how services will be impacted?
Verizon says it is unlikely customers will experience any service problems, but the reality is that the company is using 10,000 people to fill in for the 36,000 who are striking. According to a spokesman for the Verizon, the company feels comfortable in saying , “…we’re more than ready to meet the needs of our customers.”
According to Bob Mudge, president of Verizon’s wireline network operations, the company has been preparing for a possible strike since early last year and stands ready to provide service to its customers. “If someone needs to talk to a representative live about an issue, teams of additional non-union Verizon employees will be deployed to handle customer needs,” Mudge said.
Any idea how long it will last?