May 16, 2016
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – Union leaders have stepped up their attacks on Verizon, this time focusing on offshore call-centers. Verizon has added jobs in the Philippines. Communications Workers of America (CWA) have verified what has been suspected.
Verizon is offshoring work to the Philippines and other countries at a rapid pace. The amount of work shifted overseas is far beyond what has been reported.
Verizon is offshoring customer service calls to numerous call centers in the Philippines. Workers at the centers are paid just $1.78 an hour and forced to work overtime without compensation," according to CWA.
“Executives repeatedly have claimed that Verizon offshores few jobs, and none that affect our members," said Chris Shelton, CWA president. “Recently, our union was contacted by call-center workers in the Philippines who revealed that Verizon was lying to our members and the public about the extent of the offshoring of good American jobs, so we sent four CWA members to the Philippines to learn the truth. When our members uncovered how Verizon is padding its incredible profit margins by replacing good paying American jobs with poverty-wage jobs abroad, Verizon sent armed guards and a SWAT team after them."
Philippine call-center workers told the CWA representatives that, since the strike began, they have been forced to commit to 1-2 hours of overtime 5 days a week, and they are required to work a sixth day for 8 hours. Verizon subcontractors do not pay workers additional overtime compensation for these hours.
Nearly 40,000 Verizon wireline employees have been on strike since April 13 from Massachusetts to Virginia. Union leaders rejected Verizon’s “last, best final offer," in which the telco upped its wage increase offer from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent over the term of the contract. Verizon’s is attempting to close down call centers in the USA placing thousands of American workers out-of-work. In addition they are hiring non-union contractors
***The striking workers are members of the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). They include installers, customer service employees, repair workers and other service workers in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.