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FairPoint Union Workers Picket Ahead Of Next Round Of Bargaining

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Union workers at FairPoint picketed outside locations in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont Tuesday morning. This comes as contract negotiations with the company are set to resume Wednesday.

The two sides have been at the bargaining table since April and through the expiration of the workers’ last six-year contract on August second.

New Hampshire union negotiator Glenn Brackett says the company plans to increase health care costs, freeze the pension fund and hire out-of-state contractors without union permission.

“I think it’s way too early to call whether there’ll be a strike or not. I mean, so long as the parties are talking and the union (the IBEW and CWA) are committed to staying at the bargaining table as long as is necessary to make sure we get a fair deal for the company and for the workers.”

A FairPoint spokesperson says employees are clinging to benefits from a “bygone era.”

The unions represent about 2,000 workers across the three northern New England states.

Before becoming a reporter for NHPR, Ryan devoted many months interning with The Exchange team, helping to produce their daily talk show. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Manchester with a major in Politics and Society and a minor in Communication Arts. While in school, he also interned for a DC-based think tank. His interests include science fiction and international relations. Ryan is a life-long Manchester resident.

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