US telecom giant Verizon says it will be closing seven US call centers and tossing the jobs of 3,500 employees in limbo in the process.
The mobile service and network carrier says the sites in California, New York (two locations), Maine, Nebraska and Connecticut (two locations) will be closed and the jobs moved into other call centers.
A Verizon spokesperson told The Register that the closures are part of an effort to "realign our real estate portfolio and Customer Service operations to make the best use of extra capacity in the remaining locations."
"This was a very difficult but necessary business decision. We value our Customer Service employees," Verizon said. "They are highly trained, skilled and experienced and they will be encouraged to stay with the company."
The closing call centers are said to house billing and sales operations for Verizon. The employees in the facilities will be given the option of moving to the new locations, with relocation assistance of $10k or more, or taking a severance package from Verizon.
The closings come just months after Verizon ended a six-week strike by two labor unions representing its US workers. One of those unions, the Communications Workers of America, condemned the shutdown Thursday in a statement.
"It's corporate greed at its worst," said CWA president Chris Shelton. "Does this mean more jobs and more customer service problems will be shipped to Verizon overseas operations in the Philippines and other countries?"
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also had harsh words for the telco over its decision to shut down two call centers in his state:
"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."
The closures also come as Verizon works to finalize its deal to acquire Yahoo! in a bid to beef up its content network. The acquisition price was originally announced at $4.8bn, but could reportedly be lowered in the wake of two damaging scandals at the Purple Palace. ®