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1,400 Frontier Workers Walk Off the Job In West Virginia, Virginia

Phillip Dampier March 5, 2018 Consumer News, Frontier, Video 2 Comments

After 10 months of negotiations between Frontier Communications and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) over the phone company’s job cuts, 1,400 Frontier workers in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va., walked off the job Sunday.

The Communications Workers of America claims they have been unable to reach an agreement on a fair contract with Frontier despite three extensions. The original contract expired in August, 2017. The CWA claims their members have waited long enough and called a strike.

“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.”

The CWA claims Frontier has let go of some of its most experienced technicians while outsourcing an increasing number of jobs to outside contractors. Frontier has also cut over 500 jobs in the area since 2012 and has announced a plan for additional layoffs this month. The union claims Frontier’s customers are suffering too.

“We’re taking a stand,” said Johnny Bailey, president of CWA Local 2226 in Bluefield. “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.”

According to CWA, complaints filed with the West Virginia Public Service Commission have increased steadily over the past three years, rising 69% from 639 in 2014 to 1,072 complaints in 2017.

“The complaints at Frontier have risen so high in the last few years it is has gotten to the point [… where] we are embarrassed by the product that we have to serve,” said Jeff Anderson, president of CWA Local 2004, which covers large parts of north-central West Virginia, including Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Taylor, and Doddridge counties. “In some areas we have good service but we beg for that and we ask the company and we will do anything we can to get our people better service cause ultimately that is what keeps our jobs.”

Frontier countered the company is already extremely generous with its workforce.

“Frontier is one of West Virginia’s best employers,” the company said in a statement. “Average annual wages for the Company’s union employees exceed $64,500, and more than half of all union employees earn more than $75,000 per year. For comprehensive family medical coverage, most employees pay less than $150 per month for family coverage, with no annual deductible and low co-pays. Including employee benefits, the Company’s average employee cost per CWA member is more than $100,000.”

Frontier said it has activated its strike contingency plan, which will require Frontier’s management, outside contractors and Frontier employees from other areas to handle service calls and other tasks formerly done by striking workers.

Customers can expect to encounter Frontier’s picket lines in several places:

CWA Local 2001

  • 1500 MacCorkle Ave., Charleston, WV
  • 9542 Route 152, Wayne, WV
  • 601 5th Street, New Haven, WV
  • 215 Clay Street, St Marys, WV
  • 32 Craddock Way, Poca, WV
  • 518 Main St, Clay, WV
  • 66 North Pinch Road, Elkview, WV
CWA Local 2002

  • 1014 Old Logan Road, Logan, WV
  • 405 Hinchman St., Logan, WV
  • 58 Resource Lane, Foster, WV
  • 501 Logan St., Williamson, WV
  • 305 Main St., Man, WV
  • Franklin Ave., Madison, WV
CWA Local 2004

  • 1325 Airport Blvd., Morgantown, WV
  • 145 Fayette St., Morgantown, WV
  • Collins Ferry Rd. and University Ave., Suncrest, WV
  • 289 Pricketts Fort Rd., Fairmont, WV
  • 214 Monroe St., Fairmont, WV
CWA Local 2006

  • 3000 West St., Weirton, WV
  • 910 3rd St., New Martinsville, WV
  • 995 Mt De Chantal Rd., Wheeling, WV
  • 1515 Chapline St., Wheeling, WV
  • 115 Pike St., Weirton Heights, WV
CWA Local 2007

  • 435 Maplewood Ave., Lewisburg, WV
  • 120 Appalachian Dr., Beckley, WV
  • 200 Woodlawn Ave., Beckley, WV
  • 209 Chestnut Ave., Oak Hill, WV
  • 3215 Mountaineer Hwy., Maben, WV
CWA Local 2009

  • 1135 6th Ave., Huntington, WV
  • 4500 Altizer Ave., Huntington, WV
  • 1285 W Main St., Milton, WV
  • 2018 Mt Vernon Ave., Pt Pleasant, WV
CWA Local 2010

  • 280 North Baxter St., Sutton, WV
  • 134 Center Ave., Weston, WV
  • 355 Dewberry Trail, Buckhannon, WV
  • 34 South Florida St., Buckhannon, WV
  • 525 Davis Ave., Elkins, WV
CWA Local 2011

  • 483 Brushy Fork Rd., Bridgeport, WV
  • 428 W Main St., Clarksburg, WV
CWA Local 2105

  • 117 Tavern Rd., Martinsburg, WV
  • 200 Carskadon Lane, Keyser, WV
CWA Local 2276

  • 300 Bland St., Bluefield, WV
  • 226 Labrador Dr., Bluefield, WV
  • 401 Lazenby Ave., Princeton, WV
  • 917 Harrison St., Princeton, WV
  • 257 Virginia Ave., Welch, WV
  • Route 52 – 18774 Coal Heritage Rd., Welch, WV

WBOY-TV in Clarksburg talks with a Frontier worker about the strike and the quality of Frontier’s service in West Virginia. (1:48)

 

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. EJ says:

    It was a good move on there part waiting this long. March, April are very, very busy and the company will quickly become overwhelmed. Contractors have no knowledge of the plant and that is very important in the realm of terrible copper plants. People will take customers off of remote D Slams in very creative ways and add that to who knows how many bury splices that are causing issues and you have contractors that will take long time to complete orders. Now add to that the busy time of year and they will quickly become overwhelmed and quickly become disgruntled. Remember most contractors are paid by the job not by the hour. The longer it takes the less they make. 1400 people are a bunch of people to replace and I very much doubt they where tall in any of there departments. I am sure they are down to below a skeleton crew. So it may take 1500 to 1600 contractors or more to do the work of the 1400 and the contractors will be refixing things much, much more often.

  2. EJ says:

    Also lets not forget not a single union member from other areas will come bail these contractors out. It matters not if they are CWA or IBEW they will not and mean will not go into West Virginia for anything and that is the way it should be.







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