MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Employees at Frontier Communications in West Virginia are on strike, demanding a new contract with the company.
Frontier Communications took over West Virginia's Verizon line, back in 2010. With about 500 jobs cut, employees say the quality of work also declined.
With the number of complaints doubled between 2014 and 2017.
“And in those three years, they’ve gone up 69 percent, to 639 complaints in 2014 to 1072 complaints in 2017,” Nate Leavens, executive vice president and Communications Workers of America (CWA) member said.
Employees are fighting back and going on strike. Demanding a fair contract, employees say they deserve to keep their jobs in West Virginia.
"They want to be able to move at a moment’s notice to wherever they want. So wherever the work is they want to send us to other frontier areas and that would mean that all of the employees here then would be away from their families," Leavens said.
They say the demands will only improve quality customer care service and boost the economy.
“If you’re here in West Virginia, working with frontier, we want to be able to be the frontier person who is going to respond to that as a West Virginia neighbor," Leavens said.
"We are not only employees. But we're also customers and residents of West Virginia and we want the best possible for the people of West Virginia," Brandon Simmons, a cable splicer and CWA member said.
CWA negotiated with Frontier Communications for the past 10 months, and an agreement has not been met. Contracts with Frontier Communications ended on March 3.
"We want to hold Frontier accountable to their word to maintain jobs here in West Virginia so that we can provide quality service throughout the state," Simmons said.
Employees say they are willing to stay on strike for however long it takes.
Frontier Communications released a statement saying their contract proposals have included generous wages and benefits, but they are working to engage in constructive contract negotiations to resolve the situation quickly.