FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, OCTOBER 21, 2014
Amy Masciola, 202-285-6955, email@example.com
Company Makes Accusations Without Evidence Leaders Say
Augusta, ME—Union leaders responded to FairPoint’s public statement suggesting that some unnamed individuals are engaged in “phone jamming activity,” saying that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America are absolutely unaware of any persons or organizations intentionally jamming FairPoint call center lines through automated means. Union leaders have asked FairPoint to provide any specific information or evidence regarding these allegations so that they may investigate the Company’s claims.
As to the allegations regarding the unions’ picketing activities, the company has similarly failed to provide any information or evidence as to when and where any union member has engaged in any unlawful conduct. The law provides that unions may lawfully and peacefully picket at company facilities and any other work site where union work is being performed. The goal of such picketing is to send a message regarding the company’s unfair labor practices to the managers and out-of-state replacement workers who have come into our communities to take local workers’ jobs. The unions deeply regret any inconvenience this picketing activity may cause to FairPoint customers. The suggestion that the unions would seek to intimidate our neighbors and friends in the communities where we live and work is outrageous and unfounded.
Prior to the strike action, the unions carefully trained our members about their federally-protected rights to engage in peaceful picketing activity. We will continue to work hard to ensure that our labor action is safe and respectful to our neighbors and friends throughout Northern New England, but we will not let FairPoint use these spurious and unfounded allegations to take the spotlight off of the company’s unfair practices and unwillingness to provide appropriate working conditions for the hard-working men and women who have served these communities for many years.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T9 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.