From NH Labor News
In response to the Region 1 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision to dismiss unfair labor practice charges the unions filed against FairPoint, union leaders issued the following statements:
“While disappointing, the NLRB’s decision is not surprising,” said Peter McLaughlin, chair of the unions’ bargaining committee and Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327. “Unfortunately, US labor law favors corporations like FairPoint, not working people. The NLRB is one tool in our toolbox—the NLRB does not decide what’s best for our workers and our communities. We remain united and committed in our fight for fairness at FairPoint.”
“Our decision to strike on October 17th was not based on the NLRB and today’s announcement does not change our commitment to our jobs, our communities, and each other,” said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. “The pressure on FairPoint is mounting and their contingency plan is failing. We know it, they know it, their shareholders know it, and our customers know it. We remain committed to our struggle for fair treatment from FairPoint and good service for our communities and our customers in New England.”
Union leaders also announced they will appeal the Regional Director’s decision to the General Counsel of the NLRB in Washington, DC.
Since approximately 1,800 workers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont went on strike on October 17th, the three states have seen a “dramatic spike” in the number of complaints against FairPoint.
Last week, New Hampshire officials declined to approve a $13 million contract with FairPoint for phone and internet services, citing concerns with the “poor service levels” customers are currently experiencing.
The negotiations for a new contract at FairPoint began in April, and from the outset FairPoint pressed to increase outsourcing, cut pay for new workers, and slash benefits for all employees.
In August, FairPoint abruptly ended negotiations and imposed its package of aggressive cuts. The workers spent nearly two more months trying to find common ground with FairPoint, but the company refused to negotiate and union workers launched their strike on October 17th.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.