Verizon Communications said it suspended installation of FiOS Internet and TV services in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states during a two-week strike in August by 45,000 union workers, resulting in a backlog of more than 100,000 orders.
In addition, the telco said that damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in the past two weeks caused a threefold spike in trouble reports in nine states in the same regions affected by the strike. "Given normal weather patterns, the company would expect trouble reports to return to normal levels in these states in about two weeks," Verizon said in a statement Monday.
The union-represented wireline employees from the Communications Workers of American and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in the nine states returned to work on the evening of Aug. 22, after going on strike when their contracts expired Aug. 6. Verizon and the unions continue to negotiate new contracts, which may take several more months to complete, though both sides they have agreed on a framework for the talks.
During the two-week strike, Verizon suspended the installation of new FiOS Internet and TV services in the region to focus on managing repairs and maintaining other operations. More than 40,000 managers, retirees and contractors filled in for the striking workers.
More than 20 inches of rain has fallen in some Verizon service areas over the past two weeks, according to the company. The telco said repairs often had to be delayed until local power companies restored power.
Verizon Wireless was not affected by the strike, and its network "performed well throughout the storms and their aftermath," the telco said.