NEW YORK – Verizon announced today that it is deploying thousands of additional employees and contractors to serve its customers during the strike. Employees on special assignment and contractors are currently enrolled or have recently graduated from the company’s technical training classes in Virginia. They will handle all duties of the company’s striking workforce, filling roles in the field and in the company’s customer service centers.
“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. Our employees are proudly working hard in our customers’ homes and businesses and are getting the job done.”
Today’s announcement comes one day after the company presented union leaders with its last, best and final contract offer which includes a 7.5 percent wage increase over the term of the contract, as well as continued access to high quality healthcare at an affordable cost, excellent retirement benefits and, contingent on proposals for flexibility in managing and deploying the workforce, continued job security (no layoff) protection for eligible employees.
“It’s unfortunate that union leaders have denounced our proposal,” said Marc Reed, Verizon’s Chief Administrative Officer. “We’ve given the unions a great offer. Their reaction to our offer does nothing to benefit our employees who are not where they should be – back at work and serving our customers.”
Since the strike began 17 days ago, Verizon has deployed thousands of Verizon employees and contractors from around the nation. These employees are working in the company’s customer service centers, in network facilities and in the field. Since that time, this dedicated workforce -- with the help of over 1,000 employees who no longer wanted to strike and have returned to work – has successfully resolved tens of thousands of repair dispatches, tens of thousands of inquiries in our customer service centers and have fulfilled thousands of new Fios orders.
New remote and automated technologies are also helping resolve issues in ways unseen in the past. Many Fios products and services can be ordered online and self-installed, often eliminating the need for a technician to be dispatched to a customer's home. In addition, enhanced network technologies can remotely resolve many issues that once required dispatch. From adding services, to paying bills, to connecting to the internet, the company’s website has many options available to remotely answer questions and resolve issues. Fios broadband and TV users can also access many functions by using a remote control with information right on the home television or monitor.
“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.”
Erwin added, “We know the strike causes many challenges for all of our employees, but we have to remember that our customers rely on us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”