Verizon to shut call centers in California and 4 other states

Verizon to shut call centers in California and 4 other states
Verizon's plan to close call centers includes relocating 1,000 California jobs. (Justin Lane / European Pressphoto Agency)

Verizon Communications Inc. plans to close call centers in five states including California and its home state of New York, where the impending loss of hundreds of jobs prompted the governor's office to call the company's move "corporate abuse."

The company said Thursday a consolidation of its call centers will affect about 3,200 workers near Rochester and New York City in New York; Bangor, Maine; Lincoln, Neb.; Wallingford and Meriden, Conn.; and Rancho Cordova, Calif., which is near Sacramento.


About 850 jobs will be lost at the two New York locations, including 600 in Henrietta, outside Rochester.

In California, 1,000 jobs are being relocated: 700 in customer care and 300 in telesales.

The other cuts include 320 in Nebraska, 200 in Maine and 550 in Connecticut. And 175 jobs at a customer service facility in Huntsville, Ala., are being relocated to Hanover, Md., the company said.

Verizon has 162,000 U.S. employees.

Verizon spokeswoman Kim Ancin said the affected workers were notified Wednesday. All are being offered jobs at other company sites or severance packages if they decide not to relocate, she said.

The job losses in New York come at a time when Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under increasing scrutiny for his economic development efforts in the upstate region, especially in areas of western New York where the economy still struggles.

Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, called Verizon's moves "an egregious example of corporate abuse."

"Verizon's negligence is astounding and as a result, hard-working New Yorkers will lose their jobs," he said in a statement.

Ancin called the Cuomo administration's response to the job cuts "out of line."

"I'm not sure what abuses he's referring to," she said. "These are jobs that are staying within the U.S."

Wednesday's announcement comes days after the company announced job cuts in stores nationwide as it deals with increasing competition in the wireless industry.

Verizon said that it was combining the roles of two store positions: inventory stockers and customer-service specialists who answer questions about gadgets and bills.

Revenue growth across the wireless industry has slowed. Most adults already have smartphones, and carriers offer discounts. In the first half of the year, Verizon's wireless revenue fell nearly 3% to $44 billion; additions of the type of wireless subscribers who are more lucrative to the company fell 26%.




10:30 a.m.: This article has been updated to clarify job classification and relocations in California.

This article was originally published at 6:55 a.m.