Late last week Verizon offered what it called its “best, final offer” to the company’s 40,000 striking workers, who walked off the job April 13 after the two sides failed to reach a new contract. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) rejected Verizon’s deal, saying it still dramatically cut wages and benefits while offshoring a significant volume of support work. Now, Verizon’s ramping up the use of contractors to work alongside the employees being pulled away from other duties to help out.
A Verizon announcement says the company has brought on “thousands of additional employees and contractors” to supplement its striking workforce.
“While we’d rather have our seasoned veterans in these positions, each day, more and more customers are giving us high marks in that their inquiries and issues are being successfully resolved in our call centers and in the field,” said Bob Mudge, president of Verizon’s wireline network operations. “We are taking additional steps to ensure our services are available as our customers deserve and expect.”
Verizon’s announcement goes a long way toward suggesting that technological advancement in support tools has resulted in the company barely feeling the pinch from the loss of union workers.
“New technologies are continually helping improve the customer experience and they’re especially useful during challenges such as a strike,” said Tami Erwin, president of Verizon’s consumer and mass business unit. “Over the past few years, we’ve launched many new tools and functions on our website that are all focused on offering the best and most efficient service to our customers.”
Users in our forums have decidedly mixed experiences in regards to missed or delayed installs, so while Verizon’s putting on a brave face in negotiations, customers are definitely still feeling the work stoppage.