CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the Communication Workers of America say they need to reach a new deal with Frontier Communications, considering the local contract that covers some 1,600 members in West Virginia is set to expire Aug. 2.

Negotiations begin next month, and 200 members of the CWA rallied outside Frontier headquarters on Thursday.

“We always go into (negotiations) open-minded. We’re hoping things will go well,” CWA representative Elaine Harris said. “It’s negotiations, so we’ll work through it.”

This is the first large-scale labor contract negotiated by the CWA since Verizon sold to Frontier back in 2010 as part of an $8.6 billion deal.

Harris said the point of Thursday’s rally was to make sure union members are ready to stand side-by-side.

“Unity, solidarity, camaraderie, that’s a good thing. Getting people together, talking, sharing, networking … it’s all good,” she said.

National and local labor leaders spoke at the rally. The membership was joined by the heads of several other unions.

Harris said the negotiation process can be stressful, which is why both sides have agreed to start talks in June. Members said the last thing they want to see is both sides run out of time.

While multiple items will be on the table, Harris said a priority will be placed on health benefits.

“What’s at the forefront of every bargaining table these days is how we can work to preserve the health care that’s there. That is so vitally important, not just to the active members, but to the retirees,” Harris said.

Dana Waldo, Frontier senior vice president and general manager, released a statement Thursday. It said in part:

“Frontier provides its employees with very competitive wages and benefits. Frontier once again will bargain in good faith, just as it has done in recent negotiations that led to contract ratifications in West Virginia with CWA Locals 2276 and 2001 and IBEW Local 317.

During the past three years, Frontier Communications has invested nearly $300 million to deliver unprecedented improvements and advancements to West Virginia’s communications infrastructure. We remain committed to that task.”

 

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Comments

  • Rob

    As usual...Right to Work for less rears its ugly head. If it werent for Unions most of you would not be enjoying the salaries and benefits you are getting now. As for closed shop...we dont just hire frien. And relatives....thats the local and state government. Get it right for once....think before you speak.

  • wvtd

    If unions are so great then open up the shop to all that apply, not just relatives and friends. I think most working people would rather have a job than spend half of the year,or more on unemployment while waiting for a strike to kill another company and then having their dues go to far left abortion advocates. RIGHT to WORK!

  • Ax Man

    Mark, you are correct, we need a law for "Right To Work", the states that have this law are doing fairly well.

  • Mark

    Unions -- biggest reason WV will always underachieve compared to the Right to Work states to its east and south. Pass Right to Work laws now!

    • Jeremy 5958

      Your an idiot

    • wvtd

      We need "Right to work" in WV ASAP. these far left liberal unions are no more than tools to raise money from for the democrat elite. frontier service is stone age. who installs land-lines anymore anyway?

  • Jeff

    I enjoy posts like yours Jamie. Everyone is a joke until you need some help. I am not in Local 2001, but I will defend them until the end. We'll keep wearing red and try to hold on for dear life so that our 1600 members can keep helping their local economies with our middle class jobs. All we want is WV jobs for WV work and to maintain our standard of living. Along the way, we hope if we make enough noise, we can improve the types of service our customers get as well. Solidarity Forever.

  • jamie

    Cwa is a joke! Their leadership is a joke! No wonder they needed other unions in atendance, no soladarity with 2001 local.

  • Brett

    The service can be improved

  • Big Country

    Frontier does not negotiate in good faith. Their idea of good faith is "well...this is the best we can do so take it or leave it."

  • GregG

    "During the past three years, Frontier Communications has invested nearly $300 million to deliver unprecedented improvements and advancements to West Virginia’s communications infrastructure."..........REALLY?? Then do explain why my (and many others in my area) have seen our internet service go to hell in the past few months. Ofcourse when you call them it is either "your computer" or would you like to buy........for only $16.96 a month.

    • Jonesy

      At least you have broadband. I'm still waiting

      • epeer

        Still waiting for my broadband, too. I live 3 miles from I-81. Was promised highspeed 5 years ago. So far....nothing but dialup from frontier.