FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 22, 10 a.m.
CONTACT: Jim McNeill, 202-213-1614, Jim@FairnessAtFairpoint.com
Many of the 1,000-plus toys donated to children of FairPoint strikers are being distributed today on the picket line in South Burlington
Public support for strikers is surging; in addition to toy drive, strike relief fund has received nearly $200,000 in donations
With strike in its tenth week, FairPoint families say they have the support to go One Day Longer, One Day Stronger
WHAT: Distribution of Toys for Children of FairPoint Strikers
WHEN: Monday, December 22, 10 a.m.
WHERE: FairPoint Picket Line, 800 Hinesburg Rd., South Burlington, Vt.
SOUTH BURLINGTON — Santa Claus is coming early for the children of striking workers at FairPoint Communications. More than 1,000 toys and gift cards were donated to a union toy drive, and Vermont’s FairPoint families will receive their gifts on the picket line today at Hinesburg Road.
The overwhelming response to the online toy drive marks the latest surge in support for the FairPoint strikers. In addition to the toy drive, the relief fund for the workers — who belong to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) — has received nearly $200,000 in donations since the strike began on October 17.
“Bringing back all these toys from the union office may have worn out our trucks, but the incredible generosity of so many people has warmed our hearts,” said Mike O’Day, vice president for Vermont of CWA Local 1400. “We’re striking to make sure Vermonters have good jobs in the future, and knowing our kids can have a good Christmas this year really lifts our spirits.”
The toys are being distributed to the children of strikers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, the three states served by the FairPoint workers.
The workers have been on strike since October 17. They began negotiations for a new contract in April, and from the outset FairPoint executives pressed for $700 million in deep and damaging cuts. The workers have offered more than $200 million in cost-saving compromises, but FairPoint has refused to modify its initial demand for cuts.
In August, the company walked away from bargaining and imposed the terms and conditions of its offer. Those terms slash benefits for current workers, impose deep pay cuts on new employees and promote the outsourcing of good jobs to poorly paid and unqualified contractors.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.