Interesting times for Verizon customers and employees
As Verizon Communications Inc. pushes for more cable-television and high-speed Internet subscribers, a new competitor is emerging: its own subsidiary, Verizon Wireless.
This month, Verizon Wireless stores in Seattle and Portland, Ore., began offering home Internet, cable and telephone service from Comcast Corp. as part of a new joint marketing deal between the cellphone provider and several cable companies.
The relationship between Verizon's landline and wireless businesses is complicated by Verizon's ownership structure—Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group PLC of the U.K.—and by the fact that many of Verizon's landline workers are union members, while their wireless counterparts aren't. To Verizon's union workers—thousands of whom went on strike last summer as contract talks foundered—the deal with the cable companies represents a move away from Verizon's unionized landline labor, some of their leaders say.
Of the over 195,000 employees of Verizon, 45,000 union employees had gone on strike. Union used to be a large part of the land line business, but now is isolated to mainly the upper east portion of the United States.
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