Communication Workers of America rallying in Wheeling

(WTRF) - On Saturday Communication Workers of America held a rally on Mt. De Chantal Road for the strike.

Picketers are shouting, "Who are we? CWA! What do we want? Contracts! When do we want them? Now!"

Members of the Communications Workers of America are on strike against Frontier Communications after 10 months of negotiations.

Local 2006 President Ann Vogler said initially, Frontier wanted to declare a surplus of employees, which would eliminate half of West Virginia's employees, or about 700 jobs.

According to Frontier Communications Manager Andy Malinoski, Vogler's statement is false.

“This statement is untrue, unfounded and it is unfortunate a representative of CWA provided you with incorrect information. Frontier never planned to declare a surplus of 700 employees. Nor did we have any interest, desire, or plans to eliminate half of the workforce," Malinoski told 7News.

Right now, CWA Local 2006 is picketing on Mount DeChantal Road, holding signs that say they're fighting for their future at Frontier, fighting for West Virginia customers and employees at Frontier, and more.

CWA represents linemen, cable splicers, central office techs, call center employees, and more.

Vogler said after the negotiations following the attempted 700 job cuts, the company offered job protection for 85-percent of employees, which would eliminate 200 jobs. CWA still does not agree with this.

"We want to see job security for all of our employees so that we can focus on providing quality customer service for our customers," said Vogler.

Vogler added that her local chapter thinks Frontier is not following through with promises made in their last contract.

According to Malinoski, the company has offered a generous package to employees that the CWA walked away from. That benefits package included the following:

  • Wage increases of over $14 million
  • Health care benefits of more than $21,000 per employee
  • Continuation of guaranteed profit sharing bonus
  • Withdrawal two layoffs that would have eliminated 50 employees

Malinoski said Frontier has been open to a reasonable discussion with CWA, however, there are no discussions planned at this time.

On Saturday morning at 10:00, CWA employees are holding a rally in the same location on Mount DeChantal Road.

We'll keep you updated on this story.

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