AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- FairPoint Communications told union representatives it is at an impasse with contract negotiations Thursday night.
The unions representing more than 1,700 FairPoint workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont delivered another contract proposal Thursday, hoping to end the negotiations. Fairness at FairPoint said the company notified the unions via email that said the parties are at impasse. FairpOint said is will implement is final proposals, which have been previously rejected by the union.
"We strongly disagree with the company. We have not reached impasse. The company should stay at the table and continue to work with us to reach an acceptable agreement," said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2327 in Augusta and chair of the unions' bargaining committee.
FairPoint said it would prefer to reach collective bargaining agreement, but it does not see potential of an agreement based on the unions bargaining position.
Fairness at FairPoint has been representing the workers throughout the contract negotiations. The organization said the unions have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of violating federal law by not bargaining in good faith.However, FairPoint said implementing its final proposals is permitted by federal labor law when there is no meaningful [prospect for a negotiated settlement.
"The company would prefer negotiated agreements but feels the offer being implemented...is fair to its hard-working and valued workforce. It is regrettable that the issues could not be resolved through bargaining," said FairPoint Corporate Communications Director Angelynne Amores Beaudry.
"We are deeply disappointed that FairPoint has walked away from the bargaining process," said Don Trementozzi, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400. "We have worked tirelessly for months to negotiate an agreement that is fair to our members, our customers, and the company."
Negotiations began in April for a contract that expired Aug. 2. When the contract expired, union representatives said their members would keep working and not go on strike. Fairness at FairPoint said the union told workers to keep working, despite the impasse.