Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined the Communications Workers of America and the IBEW in opposition to job cuts at FairPoint Communications, a northern New England telecom company. In a letter signed by Senator Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), the lawmakers urged the company to reverse its decisions to lay-off workers and instead send a message that the company values its workers and the community in which it operates.
FairPoint Communications announced a layoff of ten percent of its workforce – 110 workers across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – before signing a deal to sell the company to Consolidated Communications for $1.5 billion.
“Our members and our customers have been through the ringer with FairPoint over the last eight years,” said Don Trementozzi, president of CWA Local 1400. “Our primary concern is that this transaction result in a more stable company that puts a priority on strengthening communities, not enriching Wall Street hedge fund owners.”
Sanders and Welch are not challenging the Consolidated sale, only FairPoint’s job cuts. “It is particularly callous to destroy the livelihoods of loyal FairPoint workers just as the cold weather approaches…” the letter read. “These workers helped build the company’s value, yet they are being discarded as collateral damage of a sale designed to maximize profits for a tiny group of Wall Street hedge fund investors.”
Lawmakers join CWA, IBEW call to stop FairPoint job cuts (FierceTelecom, Jan. 3, 2016)
Letter from Sen. Sanders and Rep. Welch to FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu (US Congress, Dec. 13, 2016)
Consolidated Communications to buy FairPoint for $1.5 billion (Speed Matters, Dec. 8, 2016)