Small business owners rail against Verizon, customers take to Twitter

With the largest mass strike in recent history now running into its fourth week, even executives admit that the strain on Verizon is growing. At the same time, consumer anger has continued to build as small business owners and customers say Verizon simply isn’t up to the job of maintaining service.

More small businesses are speaking out about Verizon’s failure to maintain service as the strike has continued. The owner of a flip-flop store has been without phone and internet service since it opened for business. Ruth Clifton, owner of Fortunata’s Bakery in
Milford, Delaware, says that the company has been unable to install equipment for a month.

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

And every day, more angry business owners and consumers are tweeting their complaints about Verizon’s inability to keep up with service. Here’s a sampling:

@joetibbs: @verizon would’ve had a new customer if they weren’t greedy with this strike. Signed up for Comcast in the new house

@EGonzalez6: This @verizon strike is destroying customer confidence – especially re: support. #Nonexistent! @VerizonSupport

@Marcus_Isaac_: Verizon being on strike is messing up my money right now.

At the same time, the strike has delayed Verizon’s $1.8 billion deal to acquire XO Communications’ fiber optic network according to XO’s own Vice President. Frank Wassenberg, Vice President of Sales for one of Verizon’s master agents, said that the strike is putting an increasing strain on the company:

”However, the longer the strike does persist, we do see those plans getting stressed and more issues will arise that may not be foreseen, so we are hoping for a timely resolution of this strike.”

ABC News details the issues at stake with the strike:

“It’s just about a fair contract. We’re just trying to hang on to what we have, not even move forward anymore,” said Phil Porter of the Communications Workers of America Local 2100. The striking workers staff Verizon’s call centers, and repair the company’s copper land-lines. “There’s not enoughworkers to do the job anymore. They have cut and cut and cut.”

And see more coverage of the picket lines in the Nashua Telegraph.

On Mother’s Day, a single mother of two girls currently on strike wrote an open letter to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams:

Unfortunately, Verizon wants to close call centers, like mine, and move jobs to another state or city. If mine closes, this change in location would cost me hours in commute and take away from my time with my girls. I would no longer be the band mom to over 40 children. I would no longer be able tothe farm mom or 4-H volunteer. Changing my work location would take away much of what I hold dear — spending my time with my children. I am sure that is not the intention of the move, but please realize it is the result. I am not just a number Mr. McAdam. I am someone’s mom.

And in a recent letter to the editor, CWA lineman John Briaddy from Saranac Lake, NY sums up why Verizon workers are feeling such broad support: “We are fighting to keep our jobs and jobs for the next generation.”