WATERVILLE — More than two dozen workers for troubled FairPoint Communications Inc. picketed outside Colby College on Friday, saying college trustee Michael Gordon is in a position to bring the telephone and Internet provider back to the bargaining table.

“We believe Michael Gordon has the power to bring a resolution to this dispute, but so far, he has refused to publicly intervene on behalf of Maine’s working families,” said Christina Williams, a 34-year veteran of the company and union organizer. “FairPoint workers and our allies call on Michael Gordon to reconsider his position.”

Gordon is the chief investment officer for New York-based Angelo, Gordon & Co., a privately held manager of hedge funds and alternative investments that focuses on distressed investments.

FairPoint workers said the firm holds the largest stake in FairPoint Communications, a publicly traded company based in North Carolina, and that they wanted to draw attention to Gordon. FairPoint workers, including about 800 in Maine, are entering their second week of striking after saying FairPoint had acted in bad faith during contract negotiations.

Posted at each entrance to the private liberal arts school’s campus, pickets chanted and held signs reading “Michael Gordon is corporate greed,” “Colby trustees reject Wall Street greed,” and “Trustee Gordon bad for workers Mainers.”

“We want basically to maintain what we have and keep fair wages for the state of Maine and good jobs for the state of Maine,” said Lee Pettengill, an employee of 16 years.

Requests for comment from FairPoint and Gordon were not immediately returned Friday. Strikers said they weren’t certain Gordon was on campus for the morning’s board of trustees meeting, but they wanted to send a message.

Ruth Jackson, assistant vice president for communications at Colby, said she has not received any complaints about the strikers causing any disruptions for students or staff.

“While open dialogue that includes dissent is part of the fabric of Colby’s intellectual culture, the issues raised by employees of FairPoint are outside the purview of the college,” Jackson said in a statement.

FairPoint workers have been on strike since Oct. 17.


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