FairPoint Communication and unions representing more than 1,700 striking workers are headed back to the bargaining table.
Top leaders from both negotiating teams are to gather in Washington, D.C., at the request of Allison Beck, acting director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The unions said the meeting is Sunday.
The last session convened by a federal mediator in Boston on Nov. 18 ended with no progress.
But officials said Friday that this time things could be different. The federal mediation service plans to play a formal role in discussions, rather than simply bringing the two parties together.
FairPoint workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have been on strike in October. The company has declared an impasse and has imposed terms of its final offer, including freezing pensions.