Verizon has told its field technicians in Pennsylvania that they can be fired if they try to fix broken copper phone lines. Instead, employees must try to replace copper lines with a device that connects to Verizon Wireless's cell phone network.
This directive came in a memo from Verizon to workers on September 20. "Failure to follow this directive may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal," the memo said.
The memo and other documents were made public by CWA, which asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to put a stop to the forced copper-to-wireless conversions.
The wireless home phone service, VoiceLink, is not a proper replacement for copper phone lines because it doesn't work with security alarms, fax machines, medical devices such as pacemakers that require telephone monitoring, and other services, the union said.