Verizon workers can now be fired if they fix copper phone lines [telecom]

Verizon workers can now be fired if they fix copper phone lines

Verizon has told its field technicians in Pennsylvania that they can be fired if they try to fix broken copper phone lines. Instead, employees must try to replace copper lines with a device that connects to Verizon Wireless's cell phone network.

This directive came in a memo from Verizon to workers on September 20. "Failure to follow this directive may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal," the memo said. It isn't clear whether this policy has been applied to Verizon workers outside of Pennsylvania.

The memo and other documents were made public by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, which asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to put a stop to the forced copper-to-wireless conversions.

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***** Moderator's Note *****

And so it begins: the phone companies are adopting the third-world practice of installing cellular-only phone systems, as a prelude to the final chapter of their union-busting saga. There might be several parallel agendas here:

  1. Forcing POTS users to accept the lower quality and reliability of cellular connections, so as to deny potential cellular users any standard of comparison by which to judge cellular.

  1. Squeezing those oh-so-expensive and oh-so-ornery union workers out on to the streets where they can learn to bow before their betters.

  2. Throwing some business to their friends in the insurance industry, since less-reliable phone connections means higher insurance premiums.

  1. Cashing in on the copper network, by carting off old cables to the junk dealers - some of whom have side deals with executives at ILECS, by the way.

My brother used to do contract work in South America, installing buildings at cell sites, and he told me that the most amazing thing about his time there was how open the cell workers were about the need to secure the sites against sabotage from revolutionaries. Many of the installations were on remote mountaintops, inaccessible by any means other than helicopters, and the engineers there made it clear that it was by design.

One man's revolutionary, as they say ...

Bill Horne Moderator

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Monty Solomon
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