November 20, 2013

FairPoint loses appeal on outsourcing

Appeals Court affirms two earlier rulings that FairPoint wrongfully transferred union jobs

From Staff Reports

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit has affirmed two rulings that FairPoint Communications wrongfully transferred union jobs to contractors in Canada and New York in 2009 and 2010, say union representatives.

The decision, issued last week by the court in Boston, backed a ruling by an arbitrator in 2012 and another earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Maine, union leaders said Tuesday.

“We are pleased with the judges’ decision in this case,” said Peter McLaughlin, chairman of System Council T-9 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents FairPoint workers in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. “FairPoint made big promises when it bought Verizon back in 2008 to create hundreds of jobs in our region. Instead, it has outsourced good jobs to lower-wage workers in Canada and New York in violation of the contract they negotiated with their union workers.”

When FairPoint bought some Verizon assets in 2008, it aimed to create at least 675 jobs in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The company overall had 3,255 jobs in 17 states as of June.

“While we are disappointed with the decision of the court, we intend to comply with the ruling. We are now in the process of reviewing how best to carry out the decision,” FairPoint officials said in a prepared statement.

The collective bargaining agreement between FairPoint and its unionized employees in northern New England expires on Aug. 2.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents about 1,700 FairPoint workers in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The Communications Workers of America represents about 500 FairPoint workers in the three states.

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