Local Unions Mobilize to Block Abandonment of Customers

Local unions in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are attempting to block Verizon's abandonment of "low-value" land line customers in New England. Verizon plans to abandon rural customers and focus on suburban and wireless customers, leaving areas with already limited high speed internet access at an even greater disadvantage.

CWA's Steve Early gave us a preview of his story which will appear in the February issue of Labor Notes.

Verizon's landline sell-off is yet another example of a race-to-the-bottom economy," said Verizon customer service rep and CWA Local 1400 Vice President Mike O'Day, at a public forum in Burlington sponsored by newly elected U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. "It will adversely affect our jobs and the quality and reliability of local phone service throughout the whole region. Vermonters will be at the mercy of a small, highly-leveraged North Carolina-based company that will try to make a quick profit for its investors.

As part of their efforts, the concerned New Englanders have launched a grassroots campaign to mobilize and educate the public in opposition to the Verizon-Fairpoint deal. Among others things, they have collected letters of support from various elected officials, participated in marches and rallies in opposition to the deal and are organizing a series of "Lobby Days" to bring their message to the attention of other lawmakers.

We are not going to let Verizon turn the information super highway into a dirt road in New Hampshire, " vows IBEW Local 2320 business manager Glenn Brackett.

Labor Notes

3,000 CWA and IBEW Members Fight Rural Telecom Redlining In New England