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July 09. 2014 8:27PM

FairPoint union members to meet and talk strike

MANCHESTER — Two unions representing workers at FairPoint Communications plan to take strike authorization votes this weekend before their contracts expire Aug. 2.

“If there is a strike we will continue to service our customers,” FairPoint Communications Director Angelynne Amores Beaudry said in a statement Wednesday.

Unions representing about 2,000 employees of the telecommunications company in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire plan to hold several joint meetings in the various states between Friday and Sunday and conduct separate votes.

A positive vote won’t require the unions to go out on strike, according to union officials.

In Manchester, union members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Systems Council T-9 and Communications Workers of America Local 1400 will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Radisson Hotel. The unions began negotiating April 25.

Beaudry said the company is seeking concessions to bring the contracts into the mainstream. She said its proposals wouldn’t reduce the wages of existing employees.

Don Trementozzi, president of CWA Local 1400, headquartered in Portsmouth, said company proposals would allow the company to move call center work to another country. Pensions and health care are also issues of concern, he said.


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