Frontier workers 'frustrated' by expiring contracts
By Eric Eyre
The Charleston Gazette
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Frontier Communications' union workers are frustrated about expiring labor agreements and slow contract negotiations, the Communications Workers of America said Wednesday. Frontier's board of directors is meeting this week in Charleston, the site of the company's southeast regional headquarters.
"We felt it was important to let the board know workers around the country from both the new and old Frontier have serious concerns about their jobs," said union spokeswoman Elaine Harris. "We've watched as two labor agreements with Frontier have expired. Talks for those new contracts have dragged on but there's still no agreement in sight."
Contracts between Frontier and union workers in North Carolina and Rochester, N.Y., recently expired.
"It all comes down to simply maintaining quality jobs and benefits," said John Puloski, a CWA representative in Rochester.
During the next five months, six more employee contracts with Frontier -- including West Virginia ones in Bluefield and St. Marys -- are set to expire.
Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter and fellow board members are expected to conclude their meetings in Charleston today.
CWA members have started a campaign called "We're fighting for our future." Union workers also distributed leaflets about stalled contract negotiations at Frontier's regional headquarters at 1500 MacCorkle Ave. S.E. this week.
On July 1, Frontier bought Verizon's telephone landline business in West Virginia and 13 other states as part of an $8.6 billion deal. Frontier picked up nearly 600,000 landlines from Verizon in West Virginia.
Stamford, Conn.-based Frontier has about 2,300 workers in West Virginia, with plans to hire 80 more this year.