West Virginia telecommunications workers continue strike, support teachers
5 March 2018
More than 1,400 West Virginia Frontier Communications workers facing job cuts and corporate restructuring went on strike Sunday morning. The walkout began as more than 33,000 teachers and public employees continued their strike across all 55 counties in the state.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA), the bargaining agent for the Frontier workers, announced on Saturday that the strike would proceed. The union said it had been unable to reach an agreement with the company in contract talks.
Workers have been without a contract for more than seven months. In addition to workers in West Virginia, the strike has halted operations in Ashburn in neighboring Virginia.
In a statement released on Sunday, Frontier made clear it was determined to continue its cost-cutting program to meet the profit demands of shareholders and lenders. Since Verizon sold its West Virginia operations to Frontier in 2010, the company has wiped out more than 500 jobs across the state, including more than 50 since December 2017, as part of a national restructuring.
Chris Levendos, executive vice president of field operations, said Frontier’s objective was to preserve “good jobs with competitive wages” while “addressing the needs of our ever-changing business.”
The statement declared that Frontier had already “activated its strike contingency plan” with strikebreakers from “members of the management team, outside contractors and representatives from other Frontier organizations.” The company would “continue to engage in constructive negotiations with CWA and resolve this matter quickly.”
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