Frontier Communications, IBEW agree to new labor contract in US West region
New labor contract covers 1,000 employees in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada.
Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO (IBEW) and its Local Unions 89 and 543 in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington announced that they have reached a new collective bargaining agreement through binding interest arbitration. The new agreement covers approximately 1,000 employees, is effective immediately, and expires in May 2017. The covered workforce includes technicians, call center consultants, and many other employees who support Frontier’s operations locally and across the country.
"We're pleased to have concluded this negotiation process and to continue partnering with the IBEW so we can together offer the best communications services to our customers,” commented Melinda White, president of Frontier’s West Region. She added, “Our employees perform critical services for our customers and other business operations across the country. This new agreement sharpens our focus on our customers and positions the company for market share growth as Frontier and the IBEW continue their strong partnership to provide the best telecommunications services in our country.”
According to a press release, the Frontier and IBEW negotiating committees bargained intensively for more than 14 months to address priority issues for both, including improving customer experience and operational efficiencies; addressing intense competition in the telecommunications industry during challenging economic times; maintaining a workforce focused on Frontier’s core telecommunication’s activities; hiring and retaining the best employees; job security, and providing competitive wages and benefits.
The new agreement includes key provisions in which Frontier guarantees to continue to operate its Everett, Washington Contact Center and Fiber Assignment and Support Center for the duration of the new agreement. These centers provide full customer services as well as employment opportunities in the region. The agreement also reaffirms the value Frontier places in having a 100 percent U.S.-based workforce, notes the provider. Wage increases included in the agreement are retroactive to May 26, 2013. The settlement also includes a plan to offer high-quality health care, while controlling increasing health care costs, with a joint IBEW-Employer sponsored Family Medical Care Plan.
“Our union members in IBEW Local 89 know the critically important role they play in retaining Frontier’s customers and helping drive Frontier’s future growth. This new agreement provides reasonable wage increases and continues to provide our members and their families with a good place to work and a comfortable quality of life," concludes Matt Carroll, business manager/financial secretary, IBEW Local 89. "It is time to accept the finalization of this agreement, after a long and challenging bargaining process. We can now recommit our focus and energies on the paramount priority of our membership; continuing to deliver world class services, that are committed to keeping Frontier customers our number one priority."