Windstream Corporation’s collective bargaining agreement with the Communication Workers of America that represent more than 400 employees in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma expired in early 2014. Windstream called on Thompson Hine’s Labor & Employment practice group to assist with the negotiation of a new agreement.
Windstream provides high-speed broadband Internet, phone service and digital TV packages to residential customers, as well as products and services for businesses of all sizes and government agencies. Avoiding disruption to business operations was a major concern. Negotiations began in late January 2014 and lasted nearly 90 days. Windstream faced a series or challenges during the negotiations that required several extensions to the expiring contract. For example, at a critical point in the negotiations, the Union’s lead negotiator quit and was replaced by someone who was not familiar with Windstream. When the dust settled, our client had achieved highly favorable results: Windstream received significant concessions, including a pension freeze for new hires, and wage increases that were less than half of the Union’s initial demands.
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