Verizon has cut jobs in stores across the country as it deals with increasing competition in the wireless industry.
Verizon spokeswoman Kim Ancin said Friday that stores will have fewer employees, but she refused to specify the size of Thursday's layoff.
A union representative, Tim Dubnau, estimates that Verizon has cut hundreds or even thousands of jobs across the nation given that nine of 55 employees were laid off in six Brooklyn stores in New York. Dubnau is an organizing coordinator for the Communications Workers of America union, which represents workers in seven Verizon stores in New York and Massachusetts. Most Verizon stores are not unionized.
Ancin said estimates of thousands of cuts are "an exaggeration." People who lost their jobs can apply for new positions at Verizon. Verizon has 162,000 U.S. employees. Ancin could not immediately say how many of those were retail store workers.
The layoffs result from Verizon combining the roles of two store positions — inventory stockers and customer-service specialists who answer questions about gadgets and bills.
Revenue growth across the wireless industry has slowed. Most adults already have smartphones, and carriers offer discounts. In the first half of the year, Verizon's wireless revenue fell nearly 3 percent to $44 billion; additions of the type of wireless subscribers who are more lucrative to the company fell 26 percent.