For nearly two months, unionized FairPoint workers have been on strike to keep good jobs here in Maine and maintain a fair benefits package.

Both sides returned to the table recently, but it was for appearances only for FairPoint. The company still has not offered any concessions despite the multiple options the union has given.

FairPoint likes to make statements about caring about its customers and providing good customer service. Prove it. Their “contingency plan” backfired, and things are not working as smoothly as they would like the public to believe.

As a FairPoint customer, I expect skilled, knowledgeable employees to arrive and repair my phone or Internet issues in a timely manner. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many customers throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, some of whom have been without service for days and weeks.

The “replacement workers” FairPoint hired have been caught sleeping on the job, driving around for miles without stopping to repair anything, sitting at cross-boxes doing nothing, working in unsafe conditions (which affects public safety) and asking elderly customers to pay them in cash for any repairs.

Aside from that, these workers are pulling up to residences and businesses in unmarked vans, SUVs and bucket trucks. Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t let one of these people in my house if all they could show me was a badge that says “FairPoint” on it.

We as customers don’t deserve this type of treatment, and neither do the hardworking, local union workers who just want to get back to serving their customers.

Please call the Maine Public Advocate’s Office (287-2445) or the Public Utilities Commission (287-3831) to report telephone issues. Let’s get FairPoint to treat its customers and workers with some respect.

Tammy Cloutier