Ongoing Verizon Strike Affects Bottom Line of Local Delaware Businesses

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    In the wake of the ongoing Verizon protests, several businesses in Delaware are dealing with residual impact.

    Take Fortunata’s Bakery in Milford, for example. In an interview with Delaware Online, owner Ruth Milford said that she is no longer able to get in touch with customers because Verizon hasn’t been able to install equipment for a month.

    Instead, she has to use her personal cell phone to return calls.

    “The strike must is [be] definitely working,” Clifton said. “It must be hurting Verizon. I think they don’t know quite what to do.”

    On April 13, Verizon landline and cable employees went on strike over disputes regarding reduced benefits and outsourced jobs.

    Since then, Delaware workers representing Communication Workers of America locals 13100 and 1301 have been picketing outside of various Verizon retail locations. Additionally, the protesters have targeted call centers throughout Delaware.

    These days, it’s difficult enough to have a brick-and-mortar establishment. With the increasing incentives of shopping online, people spend an average of $78 per order. That being said, any error in customer service for a shop’s physical location might mean a loss to an online competitor.

    Richard Young, a spokesman for Verizon, told Delaware Online that while he wasn’t entirely familiar with Clifton’s case, the company has been experiencing difficulties making the transition from a staff of 40,000 to a staff of 20,000.

    “Will I say there have been no problems?” Young said. “Absolutely not. Our employees with 20 years of experience have more experience than those who are on the job for a month. Considering what we are dealing with, we are pleased the number of complaints is as small as it is.”

    Since the strike began, Verizon has delayed installations in order to better meet customer demand. But for businesses, this delay has cost money, ultimately affecting their bottom line.