Verizon Wireless to Shut Offices Affecting 5,200 Workers

Verizon Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, plans to close five customer-service call centers in a cost-cutting move that will affect 5,200 workers.

The company will shut facilities in Meriden, Connecticut; Cranberry and Warrendale, Pennsylvania; and Irvine and Folsom, California, said Tom Pica, a spokesman for the Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based business. Verizon will shift about 2,200 of the employees to nearby offices, while the remaining 3,000 can apply for different jobs, relocate elsewhere in the country or take a buyout package.

The move is part of an ongoing cost-reduction plan and isn’t related to the pending $130 billion purchase of Vodafone Group Plc’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, Pica said. That deal, which will bring 100 percent of Verizon Wireless under the control of parent Verizon Communications Inc., is due to close next week.

“We value these employees,” Pica said. “They are well trained and very skilled.”

The offices will be shut down on May 8, lowering the number of Verizon Wireless call center to 26 nationwide. Verizon Wireless has about 73,000 employees in total and will maintain workers in Warrendale, Irvine and Folsom, Pica said.

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