Today bargaining kicked off with Frontier with overwhelming support from our members all across the state. Tonya Hodges read the following opening statement:
"As we open bargaining today, Frontier has emerged from bankruptcy and we are currently working through a pandemic, that literally shut down the world. CWA members and Frontier employees are part of the essential employees in this country that kept the world connected in ways like never before. CWA and Frontier worked together to protect our members, your employees, and the neighborhoods we all live in. Now it's time for Frontier, during this bargaining, to honor that partnership and to do what's best for our members and all the customers of Frontier, who are our friends, families, and neighbors.
As the company emerges from bankruptcy there is an incredible opportunity for Frontier to become the #1 provider in our industry. For this to happen Frontier must respect the employees who work for them and the Union that represents them. Frontier must bargain this contract in good faith and adhere to the terms and conditions that were negotiated. In 2019 as Frontier was paying millions of dollars in bonuses to management who contributed to the failures that led to bankruptcy, CWA partnered with Frontier by taking a 2-year contract. CWA worked with Frontier and state agencies all over the country to gain regulatory approvals needed to move forward so we can all thrive together. However, during that time, we have many instances where Frontier did not adhere to the terms that were negotiated. Frontier has twisted the intent of language which has had negative impacts to our members, that ends now. CWA in CT is fully prepared to use every resource available to reach a fair and just agreement for our members.
This is not the time to abandon jobs in Connecticut. This is not the time to lower the standard of living or to diminish benefits & pensions for this essential work force. This is a time for Frontier to help the economy and continue to provide good middle-class jobs by investing in Connecticut. We hope to partner with the company through this process to collaboratively bring funds into the state from the proworker Biden administrations broadband infrastructure project.
Our members and your employees deserve quality wages, benefits, pensions, and secure employment. Frontier employees and retirees have been and are a key part of the business, Frontier should keep its commitments to them, not continue to cut retiree benefits or pensions.
In the next few weeks, this bargaining committee will be sharing with you the issues that our members expect to be addressed during this round of bargaining. Including key issues such as maintaining and improving on our benefits, including pensions and healthcare, and securing continued employment security and access to the jobs of the future.
Frontier has the potential to be an industry leader, but you cannot do that without your workforce behind you. We expect Frontier to be leading the industry to the high road of good middle-class jobs. With that said we are still waiting for information that we have requested from the Company which is delaying the process to help us prepare our proposals and to evaluate your proposals, if you have any for us to review, we are ready to begin the process."
Your bargaining committee will be meeting with the company every day this week for main table as well as departmental bargaining. We will also be reviewing information the company provides us.
We would like to thank our very active membership that has already begun to send the message to Frontier that we will fight for a fair and equitable contract. We have heard back from some senior leadership regarding today's Mobilization activity, KEEP IT GOING!! With your help, we will be successful, remember when WE FIGHT, WE WIN!!
Tonya Hodges - Chair - D1 Staff Rep
Dave Weidlich - Co-Chair - President
Louise Gibson - Secretary-Treasurer
Katie Montalbano - CM VP
Chuck Borchert - Plant 1 VP
Dan Coffin - Plant 2 VP
Frank Oliva - HQ VP