New England Snapshot
4:49 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

After A Hard Fight, Fewer Benefits For FairPoint Workers

Unlike past negotiations with FairPoint and its predecessors, the new contract ratified by the company's unionized workers does not represent an improvement over the expired agreement.
Steve Zind VPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 10:38 am

Most of FairPoint Communications' unionized workers return to their jobs today after a strike that lasted more than four months.

Last weekend, they ratified a new contract with the company, but unlike past negotiations with FairPoint and its predecessors, the new pact does not represent an improvement over the expired agreement.

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NH News
6:05 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Striking FairPoint Workers To Vote On New Contract

Credit Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

New Hampshire FairPoint workers who have been on strike since October will vote on a new labor agreement Saturday. Ratification meetings will take place in both Manchester and Portsmouth.

Vermont workers cast their on Friday; Maine workers will follow suit on Sunday.

The new agreement comes after more than a month of negotiations led by a federal mediator.


Union representatives say ratification of the contract will be announced Sunday night. If successful, more than 1,700 striking workers could be back to work as early as next week.

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NH News
6:45 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Executive Council Approves $13M State Contract With FairPoint

Credit Via Fairpoint's Facebook page


FairPoint Communications has agreed to hold public meetings around New Hampshire to discuss its service levels as part of a $13 million contract to provide Internet and telecommunications services for the state.

The Executive Council approved the contract Wednesday after putting it off last month due to service concerns. About 1,700 FairPoint workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have been on strike since October over stalled contract negotiations, and the state has received increased complaints about services during the strike.

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Business and Economy
4:04 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Members Of VT, N.H. Delegations Want FCC To Assess FairPoint's Emergency Networks

Members of Congress from Vermont and New Hampshire have called on the Federal Communications Commission to assess the ability of FairPoint Communications to operate emergency communications networks in both states following outages last year.

There was a six-hour outage of Vermont's 911 system in November and a four-hour outage of Portsmouth, New Hampshire 911 services in December.

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NH News
5:38 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Fairpoint, Unions Will Head Back To Negotiating Table

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.  

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NH News
9:18 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Labor Board Rejects 'Bad Faith' Claims Against FairPoint

Credit Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC


FairPoint Communications says the National Labor Relations Board has dismissed complaints accusing the company of bargaining in bad faith, disappointing news for striking workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said they were appealing. Pete McLaughlin, head of the union negotiating committee, said the unions remain "united and committed in our fight for fairness at FairPoint."

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NH News
11:15 am
Tue December 23, 2014

N.H. Delays Action On $13M FairPoint Contract Amid Service Concerns

State officials have delayed action on a $13 million contract with FairPoint Communications amid concerns about how the company’s ongoing labor dispute is impacting services.

The contract was set to go before the Executive Council today, but the commissioner of administrative services agreed to put it off until next month.

Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern says he’s received numerous complaints from FairPoint customers about issues with their phone and internet service.

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NH News
1:57 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Shaheen, Kuster To FairPoint: This Strike Needs To End

Credit Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

Two members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation are urging officials with FairPoint to settle its labor dispute with workers in northern New England.

More than 1,700 FairPoint workers in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have been on strike since Oct. 17.

In a letter sent to FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu, Senator Jeanne Shaheen and 2nd District Congresswoman Anne Kuster urged the company to return to the bargaining table.

In the letter, Shaheen and Kuster say the ongoing dispute has disrupted service to customers, including for emergency responders.

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NH News
2:44 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

FairPoint Workers Mark 10th Week Of Strike With Statehouse Rally

Stiking FairPoint workers gathered at the Statehouse plaza Friday.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

FairPoint workers marked the tenth week of their strike with a rally on the Statehouse plaza in Concord Friday.

The workers held signs in protest and weren’t shy about sharing their reaction to a recent statement by FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu accusing the union of not bargaining in good faith.

“If I say ‘Sunu’ you say liar!” said Glenn Brackett, leading the chant.

“Liar!” the crowd of 200 responded.

Brackett is on the union’s negotiating team, and says it’s the company that refuses to consider a fair deal.

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NH News
10:42 am
Thu December 11, 2014

FairPoint: 'Hardware Problem' Caused Outages In New Hampshire, Vermont


FairPoint Communications says a problem that occurred during routine maintenance led to a loss of high-speed Internet service for thousands of customers in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Spokesman Jeff Nevins says the hardware problem knocked out service for all of Vermont and part of New Hampshire on Thursday.

With about 1,800 FairPoint workers on strike in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, a management employee was performing the maintenance late Wednesday on equipment that routes Internet traffic. The first outages were reported early Thursday.

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All Things Considered
4:55 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

As Worker Strike Continues, Fairpoint Comes Under Scrutiny In Vermont

Fairpoint workers rally in Portsmouth, December 5, 2014.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

For nearly two months, more than 1,700 workers in northern New England have been off the job at Fairpoint Communications. The strike, they say, will continue until Fairpoint offers them a better contract. Fairpoint says the workers are the ones who need to compromise further.

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NH News
6:13 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Strikers Reject FairPoint Offer To Return To Work

FairPoint workers at a rally in Portland in November 2014
Credit Ibew Fairpoint via Flickr CC

Striking workers say they're not interested in an invitation by FairPoint to return to work in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The telecommunications company sent a letter last week to more than 1,700 striking workers explaining its position that the old contract was out of sync with the industry and telling workers that they're welcome to return under terms imposed by the company.

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NH News
2:41 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

No Breakthrough In Meeting Between FairPoint, Striking Workers

FairPoint logo
Credit Via Fairpoint's Facebook page

The first meeting of FairPoint and unions representing workers in northern New England since late August has failed to produce a breakthrough.

Both the company and unions representing more than 1,700 striking workers blamed each other for failing to offer a compromise.

The chairman of the unions' bargaining committee said FairPoint seems intent on running the company into the ground by failing to compromise. Likewise, the company accused the unions of making no proposals "and for that reason the impasse continues."

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10:47 am
Tue November 18, 2014

FairPoint, Striking Workers Return To Negotiating Table

FairPoint Communications and representatives of more than 1,700 striking workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are going back to the negotiating table.

A federal mediator asked the telecommunications company and two unions to meet Tuesday in Boston to see if they can find any common ground that could end a strike by more than 1,700 workers.

It's the first meeting since FairPoint declared an impasse in late August.

Workers have now been on strike for a month.

3:51 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

FairPoint Offers Reward For Tips On Vandalized Equipment

FairPoint Communications is asking the public for help to stem recent vandalism against its property, prompting striking workers to deny union members are responsible.

A spokeswoman for FairPoint says the company has investigated eight incidents of vandalism to "key components" of its infrastructure in the nine days since the strike started. The vandalism has been reported to police. The spokeswoman says the company investigated only one such incident in the five prior years.

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NH News
2:09 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Still No End In Sight For Fairpoint Strike

Union picketers in front of Fairpoint in Manchester.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  With no meetings scheduled between Fairpoint and union heads, there appears to be no movement to resolve the strike that began last week.

Workers at the Manchester office have been picketing in front of the building around the clock since the strike began Friday. Roughly 250 Manchester employees are among the more than 1,700 workers on strike in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

Kelly Torosian is an IBEW union member and Fairpoint employee who joined the picketers.

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NH News
11:39 am
Fri October 17, 2014

More Than 1,700 FairPoint Workers Go On Strike


FairPoint Communications is assuring telephone and Internet customers that the company has plans in place to deal with the strike by more than 1,700 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Company spokeswoman Angelynne Amores Beaudry also says this morning the company remains willing to listen to any union proposal that "meaningfully addresses the core issues of these negotiations."

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NH News
4:29 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

FairPoint Union Workers Picket Ahead Of Next Round Of Bargaining

Union workers at FairPoint picketed outside locations in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont Tuesday morning. This comes as contract negotiations with the company are set to resume Wednesday.

The two sides have been at the bargaining table since April and through the expiration of the workers’ last six-year contract on August second.

New Hampshire union negotiator Glenn Brackett says the company plans to increase health care costs, freeze the pension fund and hire out-of-state contractors without union permission.

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3:47 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Unions: Preliminary Vote Count Makes Fairpoint Strike Authorization Likely

Unions representing FairPoint Communications workers in northern New England say preliminary vote counts suggest an overwhelming majority of members support authorizing a strike.  Negotiations began in April on a contract that expires Aug. 2. Workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont recently held meetings to vote on whether to authorize a strike. Voting has finished in Maine and Vermont, but has been extended in New Hampshire due to storm damage.