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Latest News - July 2014

July 9, 2014
Oxymoronic: Unions Set To Strike Over Company's Use Of Non-Union Labor

Here’s a question: If a company struggling to be profitable has the ability to hire non-union personnel to do the work of union personnel, would a strike by unionized workers negate the need for said unionized personnel?

Apparently, that logic hasn’t quite set in with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and its “sister” union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers(IBEW).

Both unions are asking the 2,000 workers they represent—who reportedly average $115,000 in wages and benefits per year—to authorize a strike over Fairpoint Communications’ use of non-union workers.

via The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram:

A sticking point in the negotiations is FairPoint’s use of non-union workers on a contractual basis, according to a statement from the unions. Union leaders expect workers will vote “overwhelmingly” to give them strike authorization.

“We’ve seen it time and time again when companies hire outside contractors to do the work of skilled, local employees, customers are the ones who suffer,” said Serina DeWolfe, a customer service representative at the FairPoint call center in Portland and a member of CWA Local 1400. “We are the ones who know the specific needs of northern New England customers and have been meeting those needs for decades.”

It would seem that, if the unions are successful in getting their members to strike, Fairpoint may actually have a greater incentive to use non-union labor.



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