Frontier, CWA sign labor deal in California

Frontier Communications has reached an agreement with California workers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 9 union, clearing another obstacle to complete its acquisition of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) wireline business in the state.

CWA, which represents 3,400 Verizon workers in California, supports Frontier's acquisition of the assets.

Under the terms of the agreement, and after the deal closes in the first half of next year, Frontier said it will add 150 new union-represented positions to its California workforce. Additionally, the agreement will open up new customer service jobs in the state.

The service provider has also agreed to honor and extend current collective labor bargaining agreements, including job security and company share clauses, while committing to a 100 percent U.S.-based workforce.

As part of the agreement, Frontier and the CWA will form a Partnership Forum that will promote innovation of Frontier's products and services and the service experience customers receive. Frontier said the commitments are designed to ensure the workforce "stays highly motivated and trained."

"After several sessions of intense negotiations, we have reached an agreement that's in the best interests of telecommunications workers and consumers in California," said Tom Runnion, vice president of CWA District 9, in a release.

Frontier and CWA's agreement is contingent upon the completion of the proposed acquisition, which still needs approval from the FCC and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Having this union agreement in place will also be important as Frontier moves forward with its broadband expansion plans for the state.

In June, Frontier announced that it had accepted $283 million annually in CAF II support from the FCC to deploy broadband to more than 650,000 high-cost rural locations throughout its current 28-state service area. The service provider plans to use $32 million in CAF II funding annually over the next six years for broadband deployment in Verizon high-cost service areas.

For more:
- see the release

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This article was updated on July 28 to reflect the fact that Frontier plans to hire an additional 150 new union employees.