On Tuesday, Verizon and representatives of the CWA and IBEW communications workers unions agreed to federal mediation of their current contract dispute. This agreement followed the much publicized meeting with U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. The parties agreed that during these talks they will make no public statements, nor will there be comments from the federal officials involved.
In addition to the news of the mediation, an industry call was hosted by Verizon. The management team from Verizon provided information that they are ramping up deployment of workers into the field through the hiring of third party contractors and additional staff from Verizon offices who have been trained. These newly deployed workers will be focused on maintenance and repair. The contractors will focus on cabling issues, which is the bulk of the maintenance backlog. In addition to the deployed workers for maintenance, Verizon is also deploying several hundred newly trained Verizon employees for provisioning. Verizon is hoping to see an improvement in provisioning by the end of May, but here is the current status:
- Most order dates will be in jeopardy. Rescheduling of orders will not occur for another 3- 4 weeks.
- There has not been any rescheduling of orders that have been missed.
- Vendor Meets will continue for repair issues, but will be prioritized based on the severity of the impact.
- There will be no Vendor Meets for provisioning.
- There are no Hot Cuts or After Hours work being scheduled.
- Verizon Business is Business as Usual unless the tail loop is an impacted work stoppage market.
- Fiber Builds are not occurring, with an exception for 911 or TSP Urgent codes.
- Porting of customers from copper to fiber will not be scheduled and will not be allowed to occur.
- Dispatches for site surveys are taking low priority and will not occur for 3 – 4 weeks.
Hopefully, there will be a quick resolution now that the dispute is being mediated., but nothing is certain. Even if your services are not billed by Verizon they may be the underlying provider for the last mile to your building. If you have a move or other mission critical service change in the next 6 months, please make sure that you get started early enough to explore the impact of the work stoppage and find a work around if necessary.
ARG can help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to evaluate the impact to your services and contingency plans.