Verizon Communications Inc. will lay off more than 200 technicians statewide in February as part of a shift to fiber optic and wireless services, a union representative told The Asbury Park Press.

Ed Cocliff, a business agent at Local 827 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, told the newspaper that the company continues to downsize even though it has many workers continuing to fix infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

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“These layoffs are not needed,” Cocliff said. “We have enough work to cover every one of them.”

Verizon defended the move by saying it operates in an "extremely competitive industry."

“Any targeted reductions will not impact our ability to serve our customers or jeopardize our focus on repairing our own critical infrastructure impacted by hurricane Sandy," Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski said in a statement released to the paper.


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