Frontier employees in West Virginia and Virginia went on strike Sunday, after a second contract extension expired. Engineering assistant Eric Decker, who works out of the Lorentz office, said employees are not asking for anything more. They want to keep what they have, and not let any work leave West Virginia, without layoffs.
Vice President of Communications Workers of America Edward Mooney said in a statement, “Going on strike is never easy. It’s a hardship for our members and the customers who we are proud to serve. But the job cuts at Frontier have gone too far. We know it and Frontier’s customers know it. It’s time for Frontier to start investing in maintaining and rebuilding its network in West Virginia.”
Decker said he is now the only employee in the Lorentz office, where there used to be two. Frontier employee Jesse Ash works out of the Weston office, and he is one of three, where there were five.
Philippi Frontier employee Logan Robey has been with the company for almost two and a half years, and would be affected by the layoff. He and his fiancee have looked at homes to purchase, but have to hold off until the strike is over.
Decker said they are concerned, because they do have families, bills, and mortgages.
Frontier released their own statement saying the company will continue to provide customers in West Virginia with “quality customer service during the strike.”
The response from the community has been great, Decker said, adding that no one has been rude, and people have been supportive, including bringing them food. Teachers, who were on their own walkout, brought them lunch Monday.
Frontier has activated its strike contingency plan. They are working to “minimize disruptions to customer service.”
Field Operations Vice President Chris Lvendos said they want to continue to constructive contract negotiations with CWA to resolve the matter quickly.
Decker stressed they want to be back to work, providing service to customers.
“We don’t want to be here. We want those jobs to be done by us, and the money spent right here,” Decker said.