A federal mediator is bringing FairPoint Communications and its unions back to the bargaining table in an effort to end a strike that began nearly three weeks ago.

The meeting between representatives from the telecommunications company and from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America will take place Nov. 18 in Boston. The two unions represent nearly 2,000 employees in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont who went on strike Oct. 17 over dissatisfaction with the company’s position in contract talks.

“We’ve always been committed to reaching an agreement that ensures good jobs and quality service for northern New England,” said Peter McLaughlin, business manager for the IBEW 2327 in Augusta and one of the unions’ chief negotiators. “We’ll be in Boston ready to find common ground, and we urge the company to return to the table in the same spirit.”

The unions, which represent about 800 striking workers in Maine, first announced that a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was bringing FairPoint back to the negotiating table in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Don Trementozzi, president of CWA Local 1400, claimed the company was enticed back to the table because of widespread service disruptions.

“It’s a shame that it took back-to-back weather emergencies to bring home the reality that inexperienced replacements from out of state just can’t maintain our network,” Trementozzi said in a statement. “It’s time for FairPoint to put the needs of its New England customers first.”

FairPoint spokeswoman Angelynne Beaudry confirmed company representatives would be in Boston for the meeting, but denied that the renewal of negotiations represented any sort of capitulation or stemmed from a struggle to maintain customer service.

“This is part of the normal process for both parties to come back to the table,” Beaudry said. “We agreed to attend a meeting and we understand from the unions that they’ve agreed to also attend. At this point neither party has changed its position.”

She added that the company is “hopeful the unions will come back to the table with counterproposals that meaningfully address the core issues,” echoing language the company used before the initial labor negotiations broke down.

Union officials said the resumption of negotiations doesn’t signal the end of the strike and workers will continue to form picket lines.

The company and the unions began negotiating new labor contracts in April. The company, which has struggled financially since acquiring Verizon’s telephone landline business in northern New England in 2008, had asked the unions for $700 million in concessions, mostly by freezing pensions, eliminating health coverage for retirees and asking employees to contribute roughly 20 percent to their health care costs. The unions rejected the company’s proposal, but offered to trim more than $200 million from employee benefits. The company rejected those counterproposals, according to McLaughlin.

In late August, the company claimed the parties had reached an “impasse,” a technical term in labor law that allows the company to impose its final proposal on the unions. The unions went on strike a few weeks later.

Since the beginning of August, the unions have filed six complaints with the National Labor Relations Board alleging the company has used unfair labor practices. Two were initially rejected and are under appeal. The other four, two of which are identical, are pending.

The unions announced Tuesday that they plan to hold a major rally in Portland on Sunday.