Last week, Verizon Wireless closed four retail stores in West Virginia and one in Kentucky, turning the operation of the stores over to a third-party contractor. Workers have reported losing their jobs or taking steep pay cuts as a result of the change. Following the conversion, there remain only two retail locations operated by Verizon in West Virginia, with the rest controlled by contractors.
"By closing these stores, Verizon is leaving its customers and employees in these communities behind," said Ed Mooney, Vice President of CWA District 2-13. "Congress handed Verizon an additional $3.5 billion when it passed the corporate tax cut bill last year. Instead of using that money to boost wages, create jobs and providing better customer service, Verizon Wireless is closing stores and turning them over to low-wage contractors."
Verizon Wireless has been shedding jobs in recent years. These store closures are part of a wave of retail closures across the country, and also follow the closure of 19 call centers since 2012 affecting roughly 11,000 workers. Verizon Wireless has also announced closure of 6 call centers over the next year, and is converting the work to home-based, likely leaving only half as many jobs as before.
Locations that have been converted from Verizon-owned stores to authorized retail stores operated by Cellular Sales are located in Charleston, W.Va., Huntington, W.Va, Logan, W.Va., Teays Valley, W.Va. and Ashland, Ky.