Photo: Rep. Mark Bryant visited with Fairpoint workers on strike to show his solidarity.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: FRP); System Council T-9 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (AFL-CIO) Locals 2320, 2326, 2327; and the Communications Workers of America (AFL-CIO) Local 1400 have announced that they have reached tentative agreements on the terms for new collective bargaining agreements.
"It's a good day to have this strike resolved. Nearly 2,000 good paying jobs in northern New England including 70 in Bangor area will be protected. I congratulate the Fairpoint workers and their families who have sacrificed much," said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci, who spent time with the workers in Bangor. Many striking workers attended, for free, a spaghetti dinner co-hosted by Baldacci, with his brother fromer Governor John Baldacci.
The tentative agreements only happened after over 125 days of FairPoint workers in Maine, and other states, being on strike. Dispite the cold weather and tremendous storms their efforts seemed to have paid off.
"The men and women who work at Fairpoint are some of the best trained, most experienced and dedicated telecommunication workers around," said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. "It's important to keep those jobs in Maine and get these people back to work. It's been clear that our telephone network has suffered without them on the job."
Pingree, who visited the picket line several times and wrote to the company CEO urging and end to the strike. praised the workers for their endurance.
"They spent months on the picket line, sometimes in very cold weather, fighting to keep these good jobs in Maine. Their perseverance in very difficult conditions was impressive," said Pingree. "And the support of the communityhas also been incredible, from people who dropped off food on a daily basis to the donations to the strike fund that helped workers keep their homes heated and their families fed."
Today was day 126 of the strike.
The Company and the Unions agree that the terms of their new collective bargaining agreements will address, in meaningful and constructive ways, the objectives of the parties and that the new labor agreements will provide employees with wages and benefits that are among the best in northern New England. At the same time, the agreements permit the Company to achieve a much more competitive position in the marketplace.
Union members will vote on ratification of the tentative agreements as soon as possible. Effective with the signing of the tentative agreements, the parties agreed that striking employees will return to work on Wednesday, February 25, 2015.