Verizon Opens Retail Store in Texas


Verizon has opened its first communications products and service store in Southlake, Texas. The 5,000-square-foot flagship store opened Oct. 31 and will allow customers to play, connect, watch and listen to Verizon Wireless' and Verizon Communications' broadband, entertainment-oriented and productivity-enhancing wireless and wireline services.

"We're seeking to retain and win over, customers' loyalty amid the most competitive period in our industry's history," Verizon Communications executive VP and chief marketing officer Bob Ingalls said in a prepared statement. "The 'Verizon Experience' store will demystify how technology improves productivity and makes buying decisions simpler than ever by delivering a shopping experience unlike any other among our peers and competitors.”

Among the services being spotlighted at the retail outlet are V Cast; broadband access using Verizon Wireless; FiOS Internet and TV; Verizon One, a home communications system available to DSL customers; VoiceWing, an Internet-based calling service; and various cell phones.

Union Workers Stage Protest Against AT&T

About 250 Communications Workers of America union members rallied outside AT&T Inc.’s Connecticut headquarters last month to protest company’s plans to hire non-union workers to install its forthcoming Internet television service, which they fear will eventually result in layoffs here.

AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom denied the claim, according to the New Haven Register, claiming that the telco remains committed to adding union jobs in Connecticut.

Union members believe AT&T plans to hire outside contractors to install U-Verse. While union technicians typically earn $27 an hour and receive full benefits, the contractors would be paid $13.50 an hour and receive no benefits, William Henderson, president of CWA Local 1298, told the Register.

"Who can live in Connecticut on $13.50?" he was quoted as asking, adding that workers fear AT&T will shed existing Connecticut jobs as more contractors are hired.

Several workers at the rally said they feel their jobs are in jeopardy. "Half of these people (here) are afraid their jobs won’t be here," Al Trowbridge, who has been a cable repairman at the company for 23 years, told the paper.

"AT&T wants to send the work where they can do it for the cheapest," said Tonya Hodges, an AT&T customer service representative for 11 years. "We want to keep our work."

Bloom said the union’s claims are unfounded, emphasizing that all new jobs added as U-verse launches will be unionized. "As we roll out this new technology, we are committed to bringing union jobs to the state," Bloom told the newspaper. "Everybody who is being hired to install this new product is a CWA-represented employee. We are adding union jobs in Connecticut."