IBEW 89 warns labor strife may be coming with purchaser of Frontier


A Northwest telecom union is raising the alarm about Ziply Fiber, which bought bankrupt cable/internet provider Frontier Communications in April 2020 for $1.3 billion.  IBEW Local 89 represents Frontier’s 700 Oregon and Washington workers in a collective bargaining agreement that runs through May 31, 2021, and the union is expecting to meet with Ziply to bargain a successor agreement. But Local 89 Business Manager Matt Carroll says it took 10 weeks and four requests to get the company to agree to bargaining dates, and then the company was a no-show at the first scheduled bargaining session May 11, 2021. 

 “This is going to be tough,” Carroll said in a press statement. “When they only offer you two dates then fail to show on the first one, it is hard to remain optimistic that an agreement will be reached.” 

Local 89 says Ziply has so far failed to reach agreement with other IBEW locals either. 

Ziply, based in Kirkland, Washington, is a subsidiary of WaveDivision Capital, a private investment company. It serves over 500,000 customers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana from offices in Beaverton, Oregon; Everett, Washington; and Hayden, Idaho.

Carroll says he’s worked for over a year to establish a relationship with Ziply Fiber in anticipation of bargaining. 

With no makeup date selected, Carroll is asking AFL-CIO affiliates to tell Ziply their actions are unacceptable to IBEW members, and to customers and communities. Union supporters can call Ziply Fiber at 425-250-8199, Ext #102, or email [email protected].


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