Communications Workers of America (CWA) members with Frontier Communications in West Virginia and Ashburn, Virginia said in a Sunday press release they will extend their current contract through August 19th.
The contract for about 1,400 CWA-represented employees was set to expire at midnight Saturday and members had voted to strike without gaining a fair settlement.
The union said major bargaining issues include job security provisions that keep jobs local and limit the use of subcontractors in expanding broadband in West Virginia.
Chad Leggett, President of CWA Local 2009 released a statement:
“We want a contract that delivers quality jobs so that we can deliver quality service to our customers. That means using experienced, local technicians to bring broadband to our communities instead of subcontractors who often do not have adequate training. It means offering affordable healthcare so that we can take care of our families.
“I am hoping that we do not have to go on strike at all. We are still at the bargaining table, and Frontier executives have a choice to do the right thing for their employees and all West Virginians. They can agree to a fair contract so that we can all stay focused on providing quality service to our customers and building fiber connections to as many homes and businesses as possible. We’re here to work hard, but we will stand together if necessary, just like we did in 2018.
“We believe that public dollars should be used to fund high-quality networks and to create family-supporting jobs in our communities – that means using a well-trained, union workforce. We’re invested in this company and our communities, and we’re eager to get to work.“
The state is set to receive more than $1.2 billion for broadband internet installation statewide.
The union said both parties agree to maintain the status quo with the Collective Bargaining Agreement continuing in full force and effect while negotiations continue.
In 2018, CWA’s Frontier members went on strike for more than three weeks over a contract that did not include a guarantee that 85 percent of the workforce would not be laid off.
WVPB has contacted Frontier Communications and is awaiting their response on this issue.