October 17, 2016
By Neal Tepel
Albany, NY – Verizon has announced it'll be closing two call centers in New York State — in Henrietta, and Orangeburg as well as others across the country. Staff cuts are expected at Verizon retail stores in New York and nationwide. Almost one thousand call-center workers in New York State are expected to be let go and hundreds of store employees. Consolidation is also taking place across the country.
State Governor Andrew Cuomo reacted quickly last Thursday to Verizon cost-cutting strategy.
"Today, with 20 minutes notice on one of the highest holy days for those of the Jewish faith, Verizon Wireless notified the Governor’s office that it would be closing two call centers in New York as part of a nationwide consolidation plan," Cuomo said. "This is an egregious example of corporate abuse — among the worst we have witnessed during the six years of this administration. Verizon’s negligence is astounding and as a result, hard-working New Yorkers will lose their jobs."
Cuomo said he's "directed the New York State Department of Labor to dispatch its Rapid Response team to assist employees during their time of transition, and we will work to reverse the impact of Verizon’s reckless decision. We will continue to stand up to those who put profit ahead of people.”
According to the company, Verizon has offered affected New York State employees opportunities to relocate. However available jobs are in states in the South and West. A company statement noted that "Eligible employees unable to relocate or who do not secure other assignments with the company will be offered individualized separation packages and outplacement help."
Verizon management said in a statement: "This was a very difficult but necessary business decision. We value our Customer Service employees. They are highly trained, skilled and experienced and they will be encouraged to stay with the company."
The cutbacks in staffing and services, particularly in New York, are puzzling since the Verizon's wireless revenue continues at $44 billion, the stock has been performing outstanding and the company bought Yahoo earlier this year for around $5 billion.