Verizon Wireless' new call center reshuffling will affect 5,200 workers

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is reorganizing its call centers and closing some facilities, meaning 3,000 workers will need to either apply for different jobs, relocate or take a buyout package. An additional 2,200 workers are being shifted to locations nearby the ones that are being closed.

Verizon will shutter facilities in Meriden, Conn.; Cranberry and Warrendale, Pa.; and Irvine and Folsom, Calif. Verizon Wireless will offer each affected employee a $10,000 benefit to relocate to one of the company's other call centers according to the Los Angeles Times.

The call center closures are part of cost cutting at Verizon unrelated to Verizon Communications' $130 billion acquisition of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. That deal is expected to close later this month.

When asked about Verizon Wireless' cost cutting in 2013 and the plans for further costs in 2014, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said this in January, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript: "As far as the cost cutting side goes look I mean coming into '13 we said that Verizon Wireless had already cut about $5 billion worth of cost out of their infrastructure. We said that we were targeting them for another $2 billion in 2013, they actually exceeded that benchmark in 2013, and again, I'm going to hold on 2014 here and I will give you more guidance when we get to the end of the first quarter and again it is all around our shareholder vote and the acquisition of the Vodafone transaction."

"We value these employees," Verizon spokesman Tom Pica told Bloomberg. "They are well trained and very skilled."

The call centers will be shut down on May 8, which will lower the number of Verizon Wireless call center down to 26 nationwide. Verizon Wireless has about 73,000 employees in total and will keep workers in Warrendale, Irvine and Folsom, Pica told Bloomberg.

In 2012 Verizon closed a handful of call centers across the country, which affected as many as 3,175 jobs.

Verizon is not the only carrier shedding jobs. Sprint (NYSE:S) has said it will book a $165 million charge in the fourth quarter related to job cuts, but did not reveal how many employees it plans to cut as part of a restructuring.

In a January filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sprint said that on Jan. 16 it started to implement a "workforce reduction plan to reduce costs and better meet the changing dynamics of the marketplace." The company said the cuts are expected to be largely completed by June 30, and will include management and non-management positions.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this AP article
- see this LA Times article

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