Verizon strike, Customers asked to be patient

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Verizon customers are being asked to be patient. This, as nearly 50,000 Verizon employees continue to strike.

Verizon says the vast majority of customers are not experiencing a disruption due to the strike. However, there are delays when it comes to service repairs.

Libbie Bechter knows first hand. After a week of no phone and internet service Verizon showed-up at her Goochland home Tuesday morning.

"I couldn't believe it when they called and said they were on their way. They got it fixed," said Bechter.

Right now, thousands of Verizon customer service and land-line workers up and down the east coast, including Virginia, are on strike.

Verizon says the company prepared itself so the impact on customers would be minimal ---- that for several weeks  it's been training retirees and managers to take over the union jobs.

"When the union walked out on Saturday night we had management employees ready to walk in and do the job. So we have tens of thousands of managers across the country and we've sent them to critical places that need the work done," said John Knapp, Director of Government Affairs for Verizon.

The two Verizon employees who showed up at Bechter's home are based in Texas. They're in Virginia picking up some of the slack.

"Most of them are working a minimum of 72 hour weeks," said Knapp.

Verizon says delays are only being seen in customer service repairs for land-line and Fios high-speed internet and television. Wireless customers are not impacted at all.

The company is asking customers to be patient until the strike is over.

"We hope the strike will be resolved and we can get everybody back to work - including our union members," said Knapp.

Bechter didn't mind the wait.

"I'm back in service -- hopefully that'll continue.  I'm happy," said Bechter.

Verizon workers hit the picket lines on Saturday when Verizon and union reps did not come to a contract agreement.

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