December 15, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Montpelier, Vt – FairPoint Communications, the phone company that provoked a bitter four-month strike in northern New England two years ago, is being acquired by the Illinois-based Consolidated Communications Holdings for $1.5 billion.
Leaders of the two unions representing FairPoint’s 1,550 union workers said they were cautiously optimistic about the merger, but want to be “deeply involved” in the process. “Our primary concern is that this transaction results in a more stable company that puts a priority on strengthening communities, not enriching Wall Street hedge-fund owners,” said Communications Workers of America Local 1400 President Don Trementozzi, noting that workers and customers “have been through the wringer with FairPoint over the last eight years.” “As long as Consolidated is ready to engage with our members and our customers with respect and fairness, we welcome this opportunity to help rebuild the company,” said Mike Spillane, business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2326 in Vermont. FairPoint, which last month announced that it was laying off 110 workers in New England, is also facing state investigations of service quality and 911 outages in Vermont. Read more