CHARLESTON — Frontier Communications workers are on strike throughout West Virginia following 10 months of contract negotiations.
Frontier Communications workers throughout West Virginia are on strike after the Communication Workers of America and Frontier Communications could not come to an agreement for a new contract with CWA 142. The previous contract expired on March 3, and had already seen two extensions. Frontier said in a press release that the goal was to reach an agreement that was fair to all.
Workers will be picketing at different locations all throughout the sate. According to the Communication Worker of America, Frontier will have picket lines at the 483 Brushy Fork rd in Bridgeport and 428 West Main Street in Clarksburg.Weston workers will be picketing at 134 Center Ave. There are two picket lines in Fairmont, one at 289 Pricketts Fort Rd., and another at 214 Monroe St. There will be two locations in Morgantown as well, at 1325 Airport Blvd., and 145 Fayette St., and a number of others spread throughout the state.
"We have been very clear throughout the bargaining process that our top priority is keeping good jobs in our communities," said Ed Mooney, Vice President of CWA District 2-13. "Going on strike is never easy. It's a hardship for our members and the customers who we are proud to serve. But the job cuts at Frontier have gone too far — we know it and Frontier's customers know it. It's time for Frontier to start investing in maintaining and rebuilding its network in West Virginia."
CWA 142 covers about 1,400 employees in West Virginia and in Ashburn, Virginia. In a press release, Frontier said that they would continue to provide West Virginia customers with quality customer service.
“We want our customers to know they are our top priority,” said Greg Stephens, Senior Vice-President, Midwest Region, Frontier Communications. "Frontier is proud to be one of the top employers in the state, average annual wages for union employees exceed $64,500, and more than half of all union employees earn more than $75,000 per year. Including employee benefits, the Company’s average employee cost per CWA member is more than $100,000. We would like to continue to engage in constructive contract negotiations with CWA and resolve this matter quickly.”
But according to a press release sent out by the CWA, the number of complaints received has risen from 639 complaints in 2014 to 1,072 complaints in 2017.
"We're taking a stand," said Johnny Bailey, President of CWA Local 2276 in Bluefield, WV. "Customers are waiting way too long to have their problems resolved, and too often we're back fixing the same problems over and over again. Frontier is leaving West Virginia behind. The network has been neglected and there are just not enough experienced, well-trained workers left to handle the service requests."