CWA Members Vote Strike Authorization at Frontier Communications
Charleston, W.Va. – Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at Frontier Communications in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va., have overwhelmingly voted to give union leaders authority to call a strike if negotiations between CWA and the telecom company fail to reach a fair settlement.
Frontier members in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va., went on strike for three weeks in 2018 in order to reach an agreement that ensured that they would be able to provide quality service and keep good jobs in their communities. The current contract covers approximately 1,400 CWA-represented employees and is set to expire on August 5, 2023.
Jeff Anderson, the Area Vice President for CWA Local 2009 and current Engineering Assistant for Frontier Communications, said major bargaining issues include job security provisions that keep jobs local and limit the use of subcontractors in expanding broadband in West Virginia. “Through a bankruptcy and the pandemic, we have shown up, worked hard, and delivered quality service for our community,” said Anderson, who has worked for the company for 18 years. “Now it’s time for a contract that gives dedicated, local technicians the opportunity to build the broadband networks that will strengthen our local economy.”
The strike authorization vote comes at a critical time for the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in April 2021. West Virginia is slated to receive $1.2 billion from the bipartisan federal infrastructure bill to invest in expanding broadband internet access to locations across the state.
“The public investment in broadband is an investment in opportunity for West Virginians, and we’re eager to help build it,” said Rick McKinney, President of CWA Local 2007 and current Cable Splicing Technician for Frontier Communications. “Public dollars should be used to build high-quality networks, and that means using an experienced union workforce, not temporary workers or subcontractors who often do not have adequate training and can put the public in harm’s way.”
“The quality of our service matters now, more than ever. Every day, I speak to customers who rely on our services to connect to a telehealth appointment or to their job,” said Tiffany Parsons, who works in Connection Support & Account Services at Frontier Communications. “We want to have the resources necessary to do a good job for our customers and we want to be treated with respect.”
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.