Frontier strikes deals with IBEW unions in California, Florida

Frontier has reached union labor agreements with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) AFL-CIO in California and Florida, allowing it to move forward with its $10.5 billion acquisition of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) wireline assets in California, Florida and Texas that's expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

The IBEW local unions in California and Florida said in separate statements that they support the deal.

California's IBEW Local 543 union represents about 200 Verizon employees. It provides the IBEW Local 543-represented workforce at Verizon assurances for the acquisition and addresses how it will affect them, and operational benefits to allow Frontier to implement its local engagement model in the new California markets.

Highlights of the IBEW agreement include adding 25 new union jobs in California, ensuring job security, providing 100 shares of restricted stock of Frontier, including wage increases, providing additional employee training, and maintaining a 100 percent U.S.-based workforce.

In Florida, IBEW Local 824 represents nearly 2,700 Verizon union employees. IBEW said this agreement gives union members assurances when the acquisition closes and addresses how it will affect them. Additionally, it includes operational benefits to allow Frontier to implement its local engagement model in the new Florida markets.

Under the terms of the new agreements, the company said it will honor and extend current collective bargaining agreements. Similar to California, Frontier's agreement with the Florida IBEW local include the opening of 100 new union positions in Florida, job security, 100 shares of restricted stock of Frontier, wage increases, additional employee training, and maintaining a 100 percent U.S.-based workforce.

The agreements between Frontier and IBEW are contingent upon meeting necessary state and local regulatory approvals and completing the proposed acquisition.

These agreements with the IBEW follow an earlier agreement Frontier made with 3,400 Verizon workers in California represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. Under the agreement it struck with CWA, Frontier will add 150 new union-represented positions to its California workforce and open up new customer service jobs in the state.

Having these agreements in place is important as it provides assurance to existing Verizon workers as they become part of the new company. This means that Frontier can continue and maintain operations as it makes the flash cut of these properties onto its own systems. 

For more:
- see the California release
- and the Florida release

Related articles:
Frontier, CWA sign labor deal in California
Frontier, CWA reach labor agreement covering workers in Texas and Missouri
Frontier says pole attachment prices are dramatically high in rural areas
Frontier wins four NG911 contracts to serve New York counties
Frontier will use CAF II funding to expand broadband in acquired Verizon territories

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