Frontier, union announce tentative contract

CHARLESTON (AP) — Frontier Communications and the Communications Workers of America have tentatively agreed on a new contract following more than a year of negotiations.

The company and the union announced the tentative agreement Monday evening in a news release. They didn’t provide details of the proposal, which must be ratified by union members.

The ratification process is expected to be completed by the end of August, the Charleston Gazette reported.

CWA International Representative Elaine Harris told the Charleston Daily Mail that the parties tentatively agreed on the proposal shortly before midnight on Sunday. She said she could not comment on the proposal’s details because it has not yet been presented to union members.

If the proposed contract is ratified, it would cover about 1,500 Frontier workers in 42 counties who formerly were Verizon employees, including customer service technicians, network support technicians, construction technicians and call center representatives. Frontier acquired Verizon’s landlines in the state in 2010.

“CWA understands the critical role Frontier’s employees and our members play in providing West Virginia with communications services. CWA members have a rich history of supporting Mountain State customers,” CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney said in the release. “This tentative agreement allows CWA members to continue this tradition while maintaining great middle class jobs in (West Virginia).”

The existing contract originally was scheduled to expire Aug 2, 2013. It has been extended several times since negotiations began in mid-June 2013.

“Throughout our negotiations, we worked to achieve an agreement that treats employees fairly and allows the company to provide excellent customer service and succeed as a business in a highly competitive industry,” Ken Arndt, Frontier East Region Area president, said in the release.

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