A number of Verizon's employees at the company's retail outlet in Hazleton voted to form a union and will be represented by the Communications Worker of America, the largest such organization in the United States. Seven employees from the firm's Laurel Mall store in the city opted for such a move in an effort to push for better working conditions, improved pay, and stronger benefits. "Verizon is enjoying huge profits and a big tax break. Now it's time for the company to invest in Pennsylvania workers and customers," said Thomas Leshko, a Verizon Wireless employee of four years.
Some of the employees in question are understood to have been convinced to form a union after witnessing how CWA handled and is still handling its contract negotiations with AT&T which have been making headlines since last year as the organization opted for a tough stance and hasn't shied away from organizing protests on numerous occasions. AT&T remains adamant its latest offer is generous and much better than what the average wireless worker in the country can hope for, both in terms of pay and benefits, though the situation itself has yet to be resolved. Some of AT&T's Hazleton employees are said to have advised their peers from Verizon on the matter, strongly suggesting that unionizing is the right way to move forward. The CWA has yet to clarify whether it's planning any immediate actions on behalf of Verizon's employees in the Pennsylvanian city.
Verizon itself is presently preparing to undergo some major changes, with its long-time Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam being set to retire on July 31 to be succeeded by Chief Technology Officer Hans Vestberg. The former Ericsson chief is expected to focus more of Verizon's resources on network infrastructure in preparation for large-scale 5G rollouts, with content possibly dropping down the company's agenda for the time being, according to some industry watchers.