In accordance with the pre-announced restructuring of its call centers, the largest U.S. telecommunications carrier, Verizon, is abandoning its 191,000 square-foot Franklin, Tennessee call center and laying off up to 265 employees.
Some of the employees will be allowed to work from home under Verizon’s HBA (Home-Based Agent) program that allows the company to save infrastructure costs while providing flexibility to a varying workforce.
This workforce is not unionized and some posit that this move prior to 2019 union contract expirations with a number of Verizon unions is a method to avoid increasing the unionized employee headcount.
Verizon has ongoing plans to phase out most of its so-called “brick-and-mortar” call centers into a work-from-home program by May 2019. In addition to the Franklin, Tennessee call center, the other centers affected include Huntsville, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Mankato, Minnesota; Hilliard, Ohio; and North Charleston, South Carolina.
Approximately 3,000 workers are said to be affected by the closures although an unknown number of employees will be offered the opportunity to work in the HBA program or transition to other positions within the company.
Verizon’s spin on the situation is “happy employees mean happier customers.”