Even though West Virginia ultimately approved the Frontier-Verizon deal, it was probably the highest hurdle for Frontier and Verizon to clear to get the deal done. There was ample opposition to the deal, especially from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the union representing Verizon workers in the state.
But apparently, you can kiss and make up with the CWA. Frontier announced that a settlement with the CWA in West Virginia has been reached, and it’s all good now. The settlement includes several job saving provisions, including:
- extending the Verizon union contract in West Virginia by two years, expanding job security to cover all Verizon union employees and, as previously communicated, fully honoring all existing Verizon labor contracts.
- adding 150 new jobs to the West Virginia workforce in addition to establishing its Southeast Region headquarters in Charleston, West Virginia.
- pledging to maintain a minimum union workforce level in West Virginia of 1,600 full-time CWA employees through August 2013.
- bringing back to the United States approximately 500 Internet Help Desk jobs sent overseas by Verizon.
“Great service starts with great employees, and we have made commitments to provide added job security in West Virginia,” commented Dan McCarthy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Frontier. Heck, even the Governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin, chimed in saying these efforts “…truly shows Frontier’s commitment to West Virginia and its desire to bring the highest level of services to our citizens.”
I tend to think companies like Frontier ultimately do a better job than big conglomerates like Verizon. They’re not perfect, and the example set by FairPoint in a similar deal is unfortunate, but by and large, smaller, more focused, service providers tend to provide better service to their markets. Fairpoint is by no means a small company, but it’s dwarfed many times over by a behemoth like Verizon, who clearly has ‘bigger fish to fry’ than the rural communities they have shed over the past couple years.