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Verizon Strike Hits Home for Ballston Condo Dwellers

by ARLnow.com August 10, 2011 at 10:09 am 5,140 119 Comments

The strike by Verizon’s landline workers has hit close to home for residents of one Ballston condominium building.

According to a tipster, the Ballston Park Condominiums building at 1050 N. Stuart Street has lost its landline phone service, and no one from Verizon has been available to fix it. The outage has affected residents’ ability to call 911, use the emergency phone system in the elevators and buzz people into the building, according to the tipster.

“Our building manager called Verizon and notified them that this is an emergency situation,” the tipster wrote. “They said they will try and get someone out tomorrow but could be as late as next week some time.”

We called the building management office for confirmation and, unsurprisingly, it went straight to a call waiting system.

Have your phones been affected by the strike?

  • Rick

    VZ and Shooshan completely messed up the wiring in Liberty Tower/Residences @ Liberty Center. There is a truck out front every day, them messing up another building does not surprise me. The scabs can’t do a worse job…

    • Ehh??

      Oh yeah, let’s not blame the union members for walking away from their jobs… For all we know this is another case of the union workers sabotaging the circuits as leverage against Verizon.

      One could surmise the problem existed before the “scabs” were even involved and is therefore a poorly engineered solution by the union workers.

  • ClizzleDizzle

    No one cares about Ballston; Arlington’s Camden.

    • CW

      False. If Ballston had such comparatively cheap liquor, I’d go down there more often.

    • BallsinBallston

      There’d have to be a lot more murders in Ballston for that to be true. The best we can muster is indecent exposure and knife fights.

      • steve85

        And Tree Fights. Lol

    • Calabria

      @ClizzleDizzle, you wouldn’t know what Camden was even if it shot you in the face.

    • Ehh??

      LOL. Where do you live? If you say anywhere in DC or MD I’ll probably die laughing.

      There’s no place in Arlington that anyone lives that should/would allow anyone the latitude to make statements like that.

  • North Cherrydaler

    I don’t see how this is different from the landline service I got from Verizon when they weren’t on strike; I’d lose phone service, and they said they’d be out to fix it in a week to ten days.

    (Note the past tense–no more Verizon for me.)

  • JamesE

    I live right across from there but don’t have a land line.

  • Chris

    Just got word that this is affecting the condo next door too.

    • JamesE

      Yeah I just got confirmation from our property manager

      • JamesE

        and this affects any visitors trying to dial in

  • steve85

    I’m not sure why people still have land line phones. I guess some people don’t use cell phones

    • c-line

      I’d love not to have a landline, but I live on the first floor and can’t get reliable cell reception (not just Verizon; AT&T won’t hold a cell signal either) inside the building. Of course, our property manager just e-mailed us with the news that our building’s landline service is out too, so apparently my wish has been granted.

    • R.Griffon

      Most alarm systems use a landline, as well as DSL. You can get cellular alarm systems, but they cost more and also have a higher monthly charge. You can also get DSL without having a number connected to it (called “dryline”), but it also costs more.

      I also had a landline up until about a year ago – it was my “spam” line that I gave out to all businesses and such in order to keep that crap off of my cell.

  • M Smith

    If you have kids, you may want the ability of calling 911 and not have to count on the babysitter to know your address. So fear.

    • steve85

      Cool but I don’t have any mini steve85 yet.

      • normal

        Well, now you know one of the many reasons others have landlines.

    • BerryBerryCold

      “I live in this tall building and um like…um… there are lots of other tall buildings too!”

    • tracker

      cell phones provide location information — though not as accurate as land lines

  • just me

    Condo across the street is out too. Are the strikers doing this to make a point?

  • Bender

    Let’s give a round of applause to our union brothers and sisters!!

    Hang in there! With just a little union thuggery we can bully our way to forcing everyone to meeting our demands! Too damn bad if someone is hurt because of it. To hell with them. The only people that count are us union people!

    • Cranky Crankypants

      Let’s give a round of applause to our corporate overlords!

      Hang in there! With just a little arm-twisting on benefits we can bully our way to forcing everyone to meeting our demands! Too bad if someone is hurt because of it. To hell with them. The only people that count are the shareholders!

      • Josh S

        Exactly.

      • Patrick

        Yea because it is completely unreasonable to expect employees to cover some of their own health care and retirement expenses. As a shareholder of Verizon I can say I’m 100% behind management in this dispute. I say hire the scabs permanently and tell these union thugs to have fun in the unemployment line. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

        • normal

          So you’re saying the union wants Verizon to cover 100% of health care and retirement? Where did you get that information?

          Of course you back management, you can barely contain your anti-union bias.

          • ArlForester

            I heard the exact same thing from a VERIZON EMPLOYEE. Prove it wrong before you mock it. You can’t.

          • Canuckhouse

            i work for verizon, one of the sticking points is that the union wants to continue getting 100% FREE healthcare whereas the company wants the union to pay up a portion like the rest of us do. i don’t think that’s too much to ask for!

            i highly doubt union employees sabotaged any private residences, however, there are too many possible witnesses. they’d rather destroy equipment on company property where there are other union employees who look the other way (aka stand guard).

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Verizon gives, or used to give, 100% free health care?!?!?!? Seriously? Shoot, I’ve never heard of any company providing something like that. Every place I’ve worked, including the Dept of State many years ago, employees always had to pay a portion (at least) of their health insurance.

          • zigster80

            You know what I think is really funny. Ever since I was a kid I always heard the saying if he jumped off a bridge would you? But now that seems the best defense against the strike well everyone else does you should too. Bottom line it is not just the paying for health care, it is the 99 other things that they want to take and gut from the contract. The portion they want us to pay is 6300 dollars a year

          • ArlForester

            I think you might have been the employee I heard it from. Text sent.

      • PHD

        +1

    • brendan

      @Bender — nice work on the thoroughly ignorant comment.

      These disputes are best analyzed on a case by case basis, instead you recite some blah blah anti-union crap you’ve heard on Fox News or read in Forbes.

      This fight doesn’t center on pay raises, increasing benefits or anything else like that… Verizon is a very profitable company that in an effort to increase their profit margins is looking to shift a substantial portion of healthcare costs to their employees. This isn’t about people trying to get rich off a profitable company, it’s a profitable company trying to become rich off their middle class employees.

      Regardless of how the labor dispute works out, even if the company caves and gives its workers more than they’re asking, the stock is still expected to outperform expectations and is rated as a buy by most investment companies. But that extra quarter of a point made off cutting benefits to thousands of workers can end up being a lot of money when you’re sitting on a million shares or being paid in options by the hundreds of thousands.

      • MotherHarrisJones

        +1
        Right on target as usual, Brendan!

      • ArlForester

        Priceless, you defend excessive benefits because the company is profitable. That’s absurd. Take your Fox and Forbes references and stick them in a dark hole provided you can get them by your head. It is amazing that people like you can never make a point yet you can always resort to ad hominem attacks like this. I guess you’re just parroting some talking point you read on the socialistworker.org. (ooh look, two can play that game). Now, if you would, please address the issues of the union not wanting to contribute to their own health care costs and the other factual items being discussed.

    • normal

      Let’s give a round of applause to Verizon management! Keep pushing for lower wages and worse working conditions! If workers dare to oppose it by striking, it’s their fault, not ours! The only thing that counts are our profits, not our workers or our service.

      • steve85

        Wow. Everything was ok until you type this. Hopefully this was an accident. What person in their right mind want someone to have their pay decreased. People have responsibilities and a family to take care of. Hopefully your boss will decrease you pay with that dumb statement

        • billj

          You’re on top of your game today, Stevie. Keep up the good work!

          http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sarcasm

          • normal

            Yet you post a response that indicates that you don’t. But that’s your meta-sarcasm at work, right?

        • normal

          Steve, I read somewhere that there is new medication to help people who were born without a sense of humor or the ability to detect sarcasm or satire. Ask your doctor if it’s right for you.

          (That was also a joke).

          • steve85

            Lol. I will as my doctor per your request

          • zing

            Please include the “k” to complete the spelling. I guess eating too many bananas and being onFIos is a cause of concern to you.

          • billj

            zing

          • Maria

            Wait… did you actually GET a joke for once??

    • EStSRN8

      Let’s look at some facts…
      Verizon financials
      •2011 annualized revenues are $108 billion and annualized net profits are $6 billion.
      •Verizon Wireless just paid its parent company and Vodaphone a $10 billion dividend.
      •Verizon’s top five executives received compensation of $258 million over the past four years.

      Verizon proposal to employes
      •Outsource more jobs, including sending jobs overseas
      •Slash sick days
      •Eliminate benefits for workers who get hurt on the job
      •Cut the healthcare benefits they promised retirees.

      Yup, seems fair enough. More for the rich. Less for the poor workers.

      Why does everyone want to cut union wages and benefits. Why aren’t people asking: “Hey why don’t I have health care and fair wages?”

      • MotherHarrisJones

        They want to cut wages and benefits and will continue to do so until the working man stops listening to Faux News, grows a pair like their grandparents did, and stand up for themselves and their progeny.

      • TC

        Why does everyone want to cut union wages and benefits. Why aren’t people asking: “Hey why don’t I have health care and fair wages?”

        …. simple answer really… It’s easier to try to bring someone else down to your level then to stand up and demand you’re company pay you better/give better benifits… I’m fed up with people whining that they don’t have this or that so why should you…

        • TC

          … and I really need to proof read before hitting submit… 😉

      • ArlForester

        They’re going to outsource jobs for local technicians? I have to say I want to see how that can even be done. Slash sick days? From what to what? Specifics please. Eliminate benefits for workers hurt on the job? Well that one there is impossible because we have laws in this country and a few of them handle the issue of workman’s compensation. Cut the health care they promised retirees? Again, specifics are missing but from what I understand that supposed agreement includes 100% free coverage. You might want to check with that old HCA your guy pushed through a few years ago to see how things work. No one in this country gets completely free health care. Well, no one but some union folk.

        It never amazes me to see the same arguments made over and over as if these workers are all Norma Rae. Well I drove past a picket “line” (more like a sit in) and saw one of those hardened slaves surfing the web on his 3G Ipad. Man, they sure do have it rough.

        • GreaterClarendon

          +1

      • normal

        Great post.

  • LOL…you Verizon customers. Good luck getting their customer service to credit you for the time you have no service and are inconvenienced. I dumped them because of their horrid service, both in billing and in maintenance, and now they are on strike!

    • Bluemontsince1961

      @Overgrown Bush,

      I remember the old C&P telephone company, Bell Atlantic, etc. We’re you around then? I never recall a hot mess with them. When we needed service back then, it was prompt and professional. Ditto when it came to billing. When my dad passed in 2009, I called Verizon to get the account changed to my name. It took an hour and a half and about six people to get it done. Even told them to have the number unlisted. Verizon, in its infinite “wisdom”, kept the listing in the White Pages and under my dad’s name. It isn’t worth dealing with them to correct it. At least the bozos did get the account changed to my name.

      But they are “efficient” in one thing….stuffing the monthly bills with tons of “great deals” and “great offers”. Keeps my home shredder warm.

      • Yep, I was around then! I sort of miss those days, or at least some of those days.

        The best service I EVER got from Verizon was when I called to cancel my service. They had it shut off in 5 minutes. Now THAT is prompt customer service! Too bad (for them) it is an exiting customer rather than a current customer.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Yep, when I cancelled my dad’s phone service at Emeritus at Arlington the afternoon that he passed on, Verizon was very efficient at that!

      • Peter Lee

        The only reason the agent can’t get the jobs done right or fast because not of their fault. Verizon is patching their old system with the new system. They have programmers doing the programming jobs and inteface. You can’t blame the workers. If the worker can’t figure out what is going on that why they have supervisors. All the calls and everything the employee doing has been recorded. If the agents are not know what they doing because they are contractors working for Verizon. You’re lucky to speak to American employee contractors, what about the next move they ship all customers service to India. If this can be done with Verizon and that can be done with another company.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          If they move their “customer service” overseas, I’ll seriously consider switching to Xfinity or Vonage. Or two Dixie cups and a string. I’m up to here with these outfits sending jobs overseas.

          • TC

            … if company’s can’t send jobs overseas how do you expect them to make even more profit to pay bonus to CEO’s? 😉

  • Curious George

    At least my FIOS internet is still worki

    • JamesE

      If that goes out and they tell me one week I will start murdering people on the streets.

    • steve85

      Please include the “ng” to complete the spelling. I guess eating too many bananas and being onFIos is a cause of concern to you

      • Curious George

        Perhaps the point was too subtle for you.

        • steve85

          Perhaps you don’t know english well. We did write your book in english

          • normal

            Grow a sense of humor, steve. That was an easy joke but it still went way over your head.

          • steve85

            You grow a sense of humor. That why I joked backed to him. I can tell you read the “Examiner” paper. You’re weird. Do you have something against me “normal” or should I say “weird”

          • normal

            Oooooh, so you’re actually joking way way above our heads the whole time, by pretending to be completely clueless! Brilliant.

          • billj

            wow, nothing gets past you, huh?

  • Andrew

    There have been reports (not here that I am aware of) that some Verizon lines have been cut and other equipment has been sabotaged…

    http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/local/verizon-says-lines-deliberately-cut-20110808

  • JM

    What is this “land line” you speak of?

  • well done Steve85!

    Another joke missed!

  • Arlwhenever

    Remember moving once during a Verizon (then Bell Atlantic) strike before cells phones and waiting a week or two to get phone service. No big deal.

    • Maria

      Funny what we think we “can’t” live without now, huh?

      Though I would be uncomfortable not being able to call 911… it’s one of those things that most people almost never need, but when you do, you do!

  • Take it down a notch

    I work at 4600 Fairfax Dr, behind the Holiday Inn at Fairfax and N Wakefield. Our entire building lost phone and internet service yesterday around noon. I was wondering if other buildings in the neighborhood were affected. Thanks ARLnow!!

    • JamesE

      I bet someone cut a line

      • normal

        I doubt cutting off phone service for an entire building is that easy.

        • The real Sam

          Nope, it’s really easy – if you know what you’re doing, and Verizon is seeking an injunction against the Union as they have mysteriously had several fiber cuts, quite a few large scale outages…..

          When a company mysteriously has signficantly more than the average outages or major fiber issues, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why.

          In addition, it’s reported that it is difficult for those who are manning the phones to keep Verizon up and running are experiencing harrassment and intimidation (blocking cars from exiting the parking areas for one example) from a select few picketers…nice way to make sure the average public citizen feels for you….Union management, you need to get your members under control…..

          • normal

            Yes, let’s make wild accusations without evidence. And how do you know these are “significantly more” outages than normal? You have the numbers?

          • The real Sam

            Just read the newspaper OR, google Verizon, OR, something along those lines. Not hard to do. Pretty clear they have evidence.

          • normal
          • normal

            Here is what you get when you look for a balanced, unbiased report:

            “Union representatives accused managers of injuring workers with their cars while driving past picket lines. Unions reported Verizon’s non-union employees were injuring picketers, citing one picketer who was hospitalized after a car’s sideview mirror struck the person’s head.”

            I’m not taking sides. I’m just pointing out that there are two sides to a story. In a labor-management dispute, or any kind of dispute, you have to put aside your biases and look for complete information.

          • The real Sam

            Yep, makes perfect sense that someone would make an effort to run into a picket line or close to one with their car….

            That’s just dumb.

            Not taking sides in the dispute, just in how some of the striking workers are behaving. You don’t get sympathy from anyone if you are violent, you sabatoge infrastructure, or when you badmouth your employer – while saying you want to go back and work for them.

            If you want to be heard, then you rise above the violence, the sabotage, etc. and work to obtain the goals you want to achieve in a civilized manner.

          • normal

            “Not taking sides in the dispute, just in how some of the striking workers are behaving.”

            LOL! If you aren’t taking sides, why are you only looking at the striking workers? And when confronted with a claim by the union, you simply dismiss it.

            I agree that sabotage, if it’s happening, is wrong and counterproductive, and shouldn’t be tolerated.

            (“Badmouthing” though? Come on.)

          • david

            I have several friends who work for Verizon wireline and got called into strike duty. These are guys who normally work behind a desk all day and suddenly they’re forced to work a call center, install a line and do the other tasks normally handled by the union. They’ve also been berated going into offices by the picketers and had stuff thrown at them and also been verbally attacked. It’s not a fun situation for either side so hopefully they get it resolved soon.

          • EStSRN8

            Couldn’t be that they have their managers, lawyers, accountants and other non-union personnel doing the jobs of highly-trained line workers could it? Naaaah.

    • Arlwhenever

      That building is owned by Caruthers — maybe Favola is behind the sliced lines, upset that Caruthers didn’t contribute to her campaign as much as Shooshan.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        LOL!

  • The real Sam
    • normal

      And what does the union have to say in response, to defend itself?

      You didn’t even bother to check, did you?

      • The real Sam

        Actually, that was just an easy link to find – of course there are other links out there with Union responses – but the bottom line is what I said earlier….

        You do not need to be violent or to sabatoge infrastructure to be heard.

        And if the Union’s response is what I’ve read – some of it just doesn’t sound all that plausible. To me.

        • normal

          I agree that sabotage is wrong. I am saying we cannot presume someone is guilty of it.

          And, gee, you believe management over the union–that’s a shock.

          • The real Sam

            Nope, just believe what seems to make more sense. A person driving a car close to a picket line (which should be either on a sidewalk, or a place other than a road) and to be close enough to hit someone on the head with their rearview mirror indicates to me that either the picketer wasn’t in the line, was too close to the car – Or, it’s entirely possible that the driver of the car accidentally drove up over a curb, onto a sidewalk, or the grass and hit the person.

            My own personal opinion is that it seems more than likely that the picketer was too close to the car – which seems to support the other side’s claims of picketers blocking cars, getting on the cars, etc.

            Again, just looking at what seems to make the most sense.

          • normal

            How about you simply reserve judgment either way because you don’t have enough information? Is that too much to ask?

          • The real Sam

            I’m pretty sure it’s ok for me to have an opinion and voice it.

            And, as a card-carrying member of a particular union, I can tell you I am not proud of what some have done in this dispute.

            So, no, I don’t just support the management – I support those who take a stand in a productive way and argue with each other without name-calling, and who acknowledge others’ right to work regardless of their membership in a union.

          • normal

            Didn’t say you can’t have an opinion. Just don’t expect anyone else to agree if it’s not a fair one.

            We agree that bad behavior is bad, and counterproductive.

  • Lou

    Funny how when Verizon goes on strike phones start going down. Like part of Verizon’s workforce is on treadmills providing the actual power for your phone 24/7.

    Just got a blast email from a large developer we do business with (3 letters, take a guess), that their phones and internet are down due to the strike.

    • normal

      Perhaps outages, or problems that could lead to them, happen all the time, but are rapidly fixed before you even notice, Lou.

      • Lou

        It smells like doodly around here.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Hmmm. Doodly/Mehoo/Dynaroo?

          • normal

            Does it matter what a poster’s handle is?

          • Lou

            Not in your case(s)

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Hey Lou, maybe you’re right!

            Doodly/Meehoo/Dynaroo! Paisano!

          • BrownFlipFlops

            Samsonite?

  • Take it down a notch

    Verizon told our office manager they are splicing the line now. Infer what you will from the word “splice.” They expect our service to be restored in a few hours.

  • Bender

    Thugs and bullies. Violence and personal attacks. Hate and resentment.

  • Tony

    The Public Service Commission used to FINE Verizon for failing to restore service in 24 hours. That fine went away in the mid-2000’s. Since then Verizon hasn’t invested even 1/10 in the Copper plant that they invest in Fios or Wireless and THEY wonder why customers are leaving in hordes. Techs can only do so much with a failing plant. Sure, there are outages all over the place, but that’s because all of us are on strike. The Scabs they called in to replace us are driving around in circles, two to a truck, and are happy to complete one job a day let alone the 3-4 that we complete every day.

    • Josh S

      The Ayn Rand types will say that the marketplace is performing the function of the fine that was taken away. But Verizon was granted a monopoly for local landline telephone service. Customers that are switching to cell phones or Skype are switching to a slightly different product, aren’t they? If I don’t want a cell phone for whatever reason, what am I supposed to do now? If Verizon isn’t maintaining landline technology sufficiently, isn’t that a sign of the corporation shirking its public utility duties? Maybe the government should consider revoking their local monopoly and finding another company that will maintain the lines properly. Or, maybe the fine should be reinstated to encourage them to do it.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        +100, Josh! When that fine was in place, service was better. Service was also better under Verizon’s predecessors (the old C&P telephone company, Bell Atlantic, etc.). Not perfect, but far more professional and responsive. Bell was broken up back in the 70s due to it being a monopoly and associated problems. Maybe Verizon needs to have its monopoly revoked and get some real competition. Landlines still have a place; I prefer to have both a landline and cellphone, each as a backup for the other.

  • johnny-mac

    I know its not popular to strike in this economy but some dont know how far verizon has fallen the last 6-10 yrs.they want our pension frozen,pay for health care and the right to make us work 70-80 hrs a week.just like you guys said verizon is a nightmare company you should try working for them.they make billions and want us to take the hit.there top 6 executives make alllmost a billion in bonuses and stock options.the ceo makes 49,000 dollars a day.and your taking there side?

    • MotherHarrisJones

      ++++++1

  • Mittendorf

    I just cancelled my Verizon service after 14 years. Because (1) they can’t transfer my service from the old address to the new within a reasonable amount of time – 3 weeks REALLY???; (2) they are so behind technologically; (3) it’s so wrong for them to claim profits while telling their employees that they need to slash their benefits.

    Can anyone recommend a reasonably-priced internet provider?

  • Bluemontsince1961

    My land line phone was out for a few hours yesterday afternoon and evening as well; ditto for my neighbors. Our street is all single family unit detached houses. Have any other non-condo/apartment dwellers been affected by this strike?

  • canuckhouse

    Sorry, commenting via mobile web so theres no way to directly respond.

    @bluemontsince1961 yes, union employees and retirees get 100% free healthcare. The company wants to combine all the health plans together so it’s easier to manage but the only thing you hear is “we’re losing benefits!” I’m sorry, but you can’t claim to be middle class AND get free healthcare forever.

    @arlforester hahahaha right you are!

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Shoot, I wish I could have 100% free healthcare (and I don’t mean Obamacare/Hillarycare/whatevercare, etither) both now and when I retire. I’m not taking any sides in the Verizon mgt vs. union dispute, but I wasn’t at all pleased when my landline went out yesterday afternoon and evening. When my service as a long time PAYING customer of Verizon and its predecessors is cut, then I get unhappy with the corporation, both management, union, non-union, whatever. Canukhouse, I hope everyone over at Verizon can come to an agreement and get back to work taking care of their customers.

      • Canuckhouse

        Hey, I’d love to keep my VZ health insurance after I retire, but that’s never going to happen! We’ve heard stories of customers being very pleased with their repair service, but I’m sure there are more (untold) stories of lines being down like this one. Anyway, thanks, we’re all hoping for a quick resolution too!

  • Take it down a notch

    Repairs are still not done at our office building. Whatever sympathy I may have had for the Verizon union is long gone.

    • normal

      So the authorities confirmed it was sabotage?

  • Take it down a notch

    48 hours later, we finally are back online. What a waste.

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