Feb 22, 2015 1:08 PM

FairPoint workers anticipate getting back to work this week


Hundreds of union employees are set to return to their FairPoint jobs this week after reaching an agreement with the company.

Over the weekend, nearly 700 Granite State workers attended informational meetings where they learned about specifics of the deal, before voting to accept or reject the proposals.

Union leaders told NH1 News they were impressed with the agreement from the company.

"We're going to ratify this contract," said CWA 1400 president Don Trementozzi outside their Portsmouth meeting on Saturday. "You know, members have their say - and we believe it's going to be ratified overwhelmingly, quite frankly. It's much better than, I think, even the members thought we could get at this point."

FairPoint workers exchanged hugs and laughs after hearing the news, excited to return to work after months of being on strike.

In that time, most lacked income and said there were many days when they wondered if they could get through the struggle.

"It wasn't just about more wages, more money. It was more about protecting our jobs, keeping the jobs here in New Hampshire - keeping that job security," said Stephanie Hanscom, who works at a FairPoint office in Manchester. "We are going to be those local employees supporting this network that supports all the residents of the state - the state communications system. That's local Granite Staters. We've been doing that all along, and we weren't willing to let that go."

Results of the votes were expected to be released Sunday night - but an email from "Fairness at Fairpoint" released to the media Sunday said workers had accepted the deal.

If the majority votes to accept, employees will get back to work as early as Wednesday.


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