Verizon Wireless told the state it will terminate 160 workers in continuity marketing operations at its Meriden call center by the end of August, but a spokesman said Wednesday that almost all of the workers will stay on in other jobs.
The continuity marketing operations department is responsible for dealing with early upgrades and other sales to cell phone customers.
The company notified the state Department of Labor Wednesday that 119 call center representatives, 25 managers, an administrative assistant, and 15 other professionals would be cut from the company.
The company’s chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, told Reuters at the beginning of the year that $2 billion in planned cost-cutting would not require extensive layoffs, but rather consolidation in call center operations. This is one of many layoffs at Verizon call center around the country this year.
So far this year, the company has cut 94 call center workers in Sacramento, 381 in Youngstown, Ohio and 72 in the Atlanta suburbs.
The cost-cutting was necessary, Shammo said, because the fourth quarter service revenue profit margin of 41.4 percent was lower than expected. The profit margin was squeezed because Verizon had to pay Apple more than expected to subsidize iPhones for new customers. In the first quarter, it raised margins to more than 50 percent.
The company would not say how many workers would remain in Meriden after the layoff. Instead, spokesman Mike Murphy released a written statement: “We expect that most, if not almost all, of the 160 impacted Meriden employees will remain with the company in very similar customer service roles — in many cases remaining at their exact same desks.
“Employees also have the ability to apply for other positions within the company. Bottom line, Verizon currently has more job openings in Connecticut than employees affected by Monday’s news and we expect to retain almost all Meriden employees.”
In 2009, the company said the Meriden center had more than 300 workers and was adding 50 more, and employed 1,600 people in Connecticut.