Unions threaten strike against firm that acquired FairPoint
Four unions representing telecommunications company Consolidated Communications’ workers in northern New England said Wednesday that a majority of members have authorized union leaders to call a strike if ongoing negotiations don’t produce an acceptable outcome by the time the current contract expires at midnight Aug. 4.
However, Peter McLaughlin, business manager of IBEW Local 2327 — which represents about 500 Consolidated workers in Maine — said the tone of the meetings, which started in April, has been “significantly better” than during a contentious strike more than three years ago with former owner FairPoint Communications. That strike resulted in a 131-day walkout.
Consolidated completed the $1.3 billion deal to buy FairPoint in July 2017.
“At least there’s a dialogue,” he told the Bangor Daily News. “There is progress, but there still are significant hurdles.”
“I’m optimistic we’ll be able to come to an agreement that the membership can vote on by the Aug. 4 deadline,” he added.