When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts put forward a new Economic Development bill, Verizon and Comcast inserted a little known provision to deregulate “Voice Over Internet Protocol” technology, often called VOIP.
VOIP is the communication technology of the future. Soon nearly every telephone call will be made using an internet protocol instead of the traditional wireline network.
Verizon and Comcast’s bid to deregulate the technology would leave their telephone customers without recourse to ensure quality services while threatening the jobs of thousands of telecom workers throughout Massachusetts.
“We need to partner with our customers for quality services and good jobs,” said IBEW Local 2222 Business Manager Myles Calvey, who also chairs the telephone workers T6 Council that covers all of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. “Verizon must understand that the installation and maintenance of VOIP services is union work from start to finish.”
Verizon has been doing the VOIP work with low-paid, out-of-state contractors while laying off thousands of local, well trained and experienced local telephone workers.
“Hundreds of concerned citizens and telephone workers made calls to their elected representatives to resist the attempt to de-regulate this new industry,” said Senator Steven Tolman, who championed the cause in the Senate chamber. “I was proud to stand with working families today in an effort to keep jobs in Massachusetts and available to hardworking men and women.”