Verizon continues to provide solid service on day five of a strike by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, answering customers' calls, performing general customer service and responding to an increasing number of incidents of sabotage.
Discussions continue today between Verizon and the CWA and IBEW. The discussions are being held in Rye Brook, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa.
The company's call centers answered 91 percent of incoming calls on Wednesday (Aug. 10), and Verizon management employees have repaired dozens of acts of sabotage to its network facilities since Aug. 6. In the face of adverse conditions, Verizon managers continue to increase their productivity while focusing on restoring customers' service.
"Our management team is doing an outstanding job of serving customers despite some strikers' attempts to obstruct our efforts," said Bob Mudge, Verizon president of consumer and mass markets. "We are committed to meeting customers' needs, and we're hearing from many of them that we're doing just that."
Verizon has received dozens of calls, emails and notes online thanking the company and its employees for responding to their customer service issues. One customer, Eric from Massachusetts, wrote: "I just wanted to send a quick 'Thank you' to you and your teams that restored service to our neighborhood earlier today. It's nice to see management can still do the jobs of their regular associates. Hats off for a job well done."
Since Aug. 6, Verizon crews have encountered more than 90 acts of sabotage against network facilities. These acts temporarily affected service to thousands of customers across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including police stations and other emergency responders. In most of these cases, crews restored service within 24 hours.
In addition, the company has received numerous reports of union picketers intimidating drivers and illegally blocking garage and work center entrances. These incidents have created dangerous and disruptive work environments both for employees attempting to provide support to Verizon customers and for the picketers themselves.
The company has obtained injunctions that prevent intimidation and illegal blocking of facilities in Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania, and is in court today to obtain injunctions in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
In one example of illegal picketing, a YouTube video posted to a union local website showed a union picketer placing his young daughter in front of a Verizon truck to illegally block working employees from returning to a company work center in New Jersey. The union picketer also used extremely profane language to intimidate the employees while his daughter looked on and other picketers encouraged him. The video was removed after widespread media exposure.
In another incident, six picketers were arrested by Baltimore County police earlier this week for illegally blocking an entrance at a Verizon facility in Randallstown, Md.
"Verizon urges strikers to express their views in peaceful fashion and in accordance with the law," said Verizon's Chief Security Officer Mike Mason. "Some are engaging in criminal intimidation of Verizon employees, and we will not tolerate that. It's a federal offense to damage or destroy critical communications equipment.
"We are investigating all reports of illegal behavior toward our employees and our customers, and we are taking appropriate disciplinary and judicial action against those involved," said Mason.
The company is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including the local New Jersey field office, to investigate these acts of sabotage. The company also is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals who intentionally damage Verizon cables or facilities or cause or attempt to cause physical injury to any Verizon employee or contractor. Verizon urges anyone who witnesses sabotage of Verizon property or any suspicious activity to call 911 immediately, and then call the Verizon Security Control Center at 1-800-997-3287.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.