MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Some 1,400 members of the Communications Workers of America have been walking the picket line here, across the state and in Ashburn, Virginia, since March 4, after 10 months of negotiations for a new contract between the union and Frontier Communications broke down. The contract had been extended twice since it expired in August.
Since Frontier bought Verizon’s landline operations in West Virginia in 2010, the company has slashed 500 jobs.
The two dozen strikers walking the line say they get a lot of solidarity. One woman stopped by to show a large photo of her husband picketing during the 1983 nationwide telephone workers strike by the CWA and a coalition of other unions. Cars passing by honk in support.
“We’re energized, we’re not moving,” Brandon Simmons, a cable splicer and union steward with CWA Local 2105, told the Militant. “The company wants to contract out the call center jobs. We’re fighting for everybody’s job security. The teachers have been extremely supportive.”