No specific job cuts have been announced, and no date has been set, Campbell adds. Verizon employs nearly 3,000 people in the Richmond area. So the 75 employees losing their jobs represent about 2.5 percent of that workforce.
"It is a downsizing, not a layoff," says Paul Miller, a spokesman with Verizon, though he concedes that "there may be some who leave involuntarily."
Although Verizon is scaling back jobs in some of its divisions, Miller says the company's overall growth is significant. "Although we've been downsizing we just opened a huge call center" in Richmond's West End, he points out.
"Morale is low," says one Verizon field technician who asks not to be named. He has worked as a field technician for Verizon for four years, but because he's among the newer workers, he says it's just a matter of time before his job is cut. "It's like walking on pins and needles," he adds.
The local union office for CWA is bracing itself for news. "The official announcement hasn't been made," says Roy Shumaker, vice president of the local union chapter and a senior field technician for Verizon. In October, 41 employees within the same division were let go and five were transferred.
"The possibility is definitely there" for job cuts to happen again, Shumaker says. "It's a shame if it does result in a layoff. We'd lose these valuable, well-trained and educated workers."