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August 28, 2023
Frontier Communications has sidestepped a potential strike that could have impacted thousands of employees based in West Virginia and Ashburn, Virginia.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced Saturday (August 26) that the organization and Frontier had reached a new, tentative four-year contract covering about 1,400 employees represented by the CWA in those two areas.
Specific terms of the new contract were not disclosed, but the CWA said it "achieves significant wage increases, preserves existing job security language, and maintains quality health and welfare benefits. In addition, Frontier has committed to creating additional jobs and a long-term work at home agreement."
The CWA said details of the new, tentative agreement are being distributed to CWA members and that a contract ratification vote will be set "in the coming weeks."
The prior agreement between Frontier and the CWA expired on Saturday, August 19, but employees represented by the organization agreed to report to work "and maintain the status quo" as negotiations toward a new agreement continued.
In addition to concerns about affordable healthcare, Frontier workers represented by the CWA also were urging Frontier to use fewer subcontractors for fiber network buildouts.
A tentative agreement removes some uncertainty surrounding Frontier's ambitious fiber network plans. The company recently crossed the halfway point of a fiber network upgrade/buildout that will cover 10 million locations by 2025.
As negotiations with the CWA continued, Frontier stressed that it had contingency plans in place to ensure there is no impact on its customers.
"We have been working constructively with CWA and are pleased to have reached a Tentative Agreement that is good for our employees, our customers and our business," a Frontier spokesperson said Monday in an emailed statement. "We recognize the critical importance of our communications services to West Virginia. Our goal throughout the negotiations process has been to continue to provide our employees with some of the best jobs in the state, while enabling us to successfully operate our business for years to come. This agreement accomplishes that."
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
Senior Editor, Light Reading
Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.
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