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CWA Leads Fight in Florida

CWA Leads Fight in Florida to Preserve Telephone Service Quality & Jobs

With the support of a coalition of retiree and consumer advocacy groups, CWA beat back an effort by seven telephone providers, including AT&T, Verizon and Embarq, to persuade the Florida Public Service Commission to allow the companies to lower quality standards and service to six million customers in the state.

The companies wanted to deregulate service by changing the definition of "basic" telephone service and by lengthening the amount of time customers must wait before the company responds to service and installation calls.

Following CWA's intervention, the commission reversed an earlier recommendation that would have allowed companies to double response time for repairs, installation and service calls.

During the hearings, Gail Marie Perry, Chair of the CWA Council of Florida, heard a Verizon representative state the company would be able to "get rid of eight people" if the service installation interval was lengthened.

Supporting CWA was the Public Service Commission Public Council, which represents consumers' interest, the Florida's Attorney General's office, the AARP, and the Florida Consumer Action Network.