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Fairpoint Walks Away from Bargaining Process, Declares Impasse

Fairpoint Walks Away from Bargaining Process, Declares Impasse
Unions Accuse Company of Federal Labor Law Violations


For immediate release by:
CWA 1400: Don Trementozzi
IBEW 2327: Peter McLaughlin

Augusta, ME–Unions representing nearly 2,000 employees of FairPoint Communications in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont met with the company on August 27 in Nashua, NH. The unions made a comprehensive proposal despite the company’s rejection of several earlier proposals.

The company then waited several hours before notifying the unions by email that the parties are at impasse and that the company would impose its last contract proposals at 12:01 a.m. on August 28.

“We strongly disagree with the company. We have not reached impasse. The company should stay at the table and continue to work with us to reach an acceptable agreement,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2327 in Augusta and chair of the unions’ bargaining committee.

The unions have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of violating federal law by not bargaining in good faith.

“We are deeply disappointed that FairPoint has walked away from the bargaining process,” said Don Trementozzi, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400. “We have worked tirelessly for months to negotiate an agreement that is fair to our members, our customers, and the company. We believe the company never intended to reach an agreement with us, but has been pushing towards this outcome all along.”

According to union leaders, the company has rejected every significant proposal the union has put forward since bargaining began in April and has refused to offer any counter proposals since before the contract expired on August 2.

“The company has refused to bargain with us, and their negotiators have even attempted to intimidate and bully us throughout the process,” said Glenn Brackett, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320 in Manchester, NH. “But our members will not be intimidated by this company. They are determined to stand up for good jobs and our customers.”

Union leaders say FairPoint management wants to outsource hundreds of good jobs in Northern New England to low wage, out-of-state contractors. The company’s proposals would be devastating for communities that depend on well-trained and experienced workers to build and maintain their landlines, cell towers, DSL, and even 911 systems.

“FairPoint’s employees are some of the best trained, most experienced telecommunications workers in this country,” said Mike Spillane, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2326 in Burlington, VT. “But FairPoint executives are determined to outsource their work to low road contractors no matter the impact on customers and our communities. We will continue to fight their attempts to outsource our future.”

The union bargaining team will meet with its attorneys and other key advisors on Thursday morning to assess the situation and decide on next steps. In the meantime, the union has notified all members to continue working until further notice.

IBEW System Council T9 represents nearly 1,700 FairPoint employees in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. CWA Local 1400 represents nearly 300 employees in the three states.

Verizon Declares Surplus (Process Change)

Verizon has declared a surplus in FAAs 1-6.  This surplus  has been determined by the Company to be due to a process change, not an external event. The provisions of FAP Articles 8(b) and 10 will not apply. CWA Local 1101 titles affected by the surplus appear in column marked FAA1.

There are a total of 26 declared surplus in FAA 1.  [...]

MOST UNION MEMBERS HAVE TIES TO GOVERNMENT

BY TOM RAUM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unions representing government workers are expanding while organized labor has been shedding private sector members over the past half-century.

A majority of union members today now have ties to a government entity, at the federal, state or local levels.

Roughly 1-in-3 public sector workers is a union member, compared with about 1-in-15 for [...]

Verizon Declares Surplus (Process Change)

Verizon has declared a surplus in FAAs 1-6.  This surplus  has been determined by the Company to be due to a process change, not an external event. The provisions of FAP Articles 8(b) and 10 will not apply. CWA Local 1101 titles affected by the surplus appear in column marked FAA 1.

There are a total of 33 declared surplus in FAA [...]

AT&T's Plan For the Future: No Landlines, Less Regulation

By Ryan Knutson

Residents and business owners in Carbon Hill, Ala., got a surprise in letters from AT&T Inc. in February. The company said the town, where signs welcome visitors to “the city with a future,” could usher in one of the biggest technological changes since Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone.

If regulators approve, AT&T customers would [...]

Local 1101 Steward and Membership Meetings

Stewards Meeting
03/20/2014 @ 6:00 pm
Location : High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street, bet. 7th and 8th Ave.

Membership Meeting
03/27/2014 @ 6:00 pm
Location : High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street, bet. 7th and 8th Ave.

Verizon Corporate Profit Sharing Award

Verizon announced today that the Corporate Profit Sharing award for full time employees is $825.00. The award will be pro-rated for part-time employees and those employees who participated for more than 3 months but less than 12 months in the plan year. The award will be paid on March 14, 2014.

Payment Dates for Unused Incidental Absence Days and CPS Award

The lump sum payment for members who used less than 5 incidental absence days in 2013 will be in the March 7, 2014 check. See chart below.

Number of Paid or Unpaid Incidental Absence Days Used in the Calendar Year
Lump Sum Payment

4 Days
1 Day’s Pay

At least 3 days but less than 4 days
2 Day’s Pay

At least [...]

Verizon Declares Another Surplus Effective 3-4-2014

Verizon has declared a surplus in Force Adjustment Areas (FAAs) 1 through 6. The force adjustment area that applys to CWA 1101 is FAA 1. Offers for enhanced EIPP (Enhanced Income Protection Plan) effected employees will be made by March 4, 2014. Employees who receive an EIPP offer and wish to take it must transmit [...]

NJ Homeowners Protest Sheriff's Sale Of CWA Member's Home

New Jersey homeowners marched on a Wells Fargo branch in Irvington on Wednesday, delivering a 2,000-signature petition demanding that the bank stop the sheriff’s sale of a CWA member’s New Jersey home.

Activists protest a Wells Fargo branch in Irvington, NJ

In 2010, Paulette McQueen, a CWA Local 1037 home child care provider and shop steward, [...]