Frontier's Verizon acquisition facing CWA union wrath

Given all of the operational issues that both FairPoint and Hawaii Telecom had after they bought unwanted lines from Verizon, it's not surprising to see that labor unions that work for Frontier--which is in the process of purchasing Verizon's rural lines--are putting up a fight.

Frontier's deal with Verizon far outpaces what FairPoint acquired from the RBOC. When Frontier's $8.5 billion purchase of Verizon's rural lines goes through, the service provider--in a single stroke--will acquire an additional 4.8 million (right now Frontier has 2.3 million customers) residential and small business landline connections over 14 states, 1 million broadband connections and then an additional 11,000 former Verizon workers.  

Fearful that if the acquisition goes through they could be facing possible layoffs or other cutbacks, members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union have launched an aggressive campaign to block the deal. In their protest, the CWA cites the Reverse Morris Trust scheme that enables Verizon to sell off network assets it does not want to other providers that will take on mountains of debt.

Not surprisingly, Frontier has been on the defensive saying it's Verizon purchase won't be another Hawaii Telecom or FairPoint. "Our biggest challenge is really getting people to understand who we are," said Steven Crosby, senior vice president of public relations for Frontier in a statement.

For more:
- Broadband DSL Reports has this post

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