The Communications Workers of America has issued a statement knocking Verizon Wireless’ plan to cut 3,000 of 6,500 workers at six call centers, including one in Little Rock.
Those job cuts were announced in Little Rock (600 of them) previously. However, the company framed the issue not as layoffs, but as “transitioning” of employees to home-based workers. Said CWA:
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.
CWA notes Verizon has closed 19 call centers, affecting 11,000 workers, since 2012. It also notes that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Donald Trump promised that corporate tax cutting would bring jobs back to the U.S.