The strike continues by 2,000 members of the IBEW and the CWA in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont who are employees of FairPoint Communications (Striking FairPoint Workers Rally In DC Today 11/24 UC). The strike began on October 17th and the union members are facing a tough winter. Supporters may contribute by sending a check payable to IBEW-CWA Solidarity Fund to 21 Gabriel Drive, Augusta, ME 04330 or contribute online.
FairPoint obtained the Verizon landline business in the three states a few years ago and has engaged in aggressive anti-union behavior since. At the bargaining table for a successor agreement to the contract which expired on August 2 the company demanded more than $700 million from the workers, including freezing pensions, ending retiree health care, a two-tier wage system that would pay some new hires minimum wage, and dramatically increased health care costs. Although the unions offered major concessions, the company has not budged. Federal mediation has been unproductive.
photo: 11/24 DC support rally; photo by Ashley Jayde