Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are all Brothers and Sisters connected by the word "Union". We understand that this word might mean different things to different people, but the basic definition of the word for us represents a group of people who have formed together for a common interest, a common purpose, and a common goal. To put it plainly, we desire to have the ability to care for our families as well as ourselves and to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace.
With that being said, we recognize that there exists fear in some of the membership because of the uncertainty that we are all experiencing at this time. But, let us remind you that the feeling of fear will not diminish by choosing to do nothing. This fear will only dissipate once you make the decision to stand up for yourself and others to fight for what you know is fair, equitable, and right.
Most of us have heard the saying "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything." The "anything" in this case could come with the loss of your medical benefits in retirement. The "anything" in this case could be paying exorbitant fees for your current medical benefits. The "anything" in this case could be the loss of your 401(k) match. The "anything" in this case could be little to no increases in your pay.
Are you really willing to fall for these "anythings"? Can you and your family afford to fall for these "anythings"?
We as your bargaining committee are not asking anyone to go at this on their own just as we are not wanting to fight this fight without the membership's support. What we are asking for is your help in any way possible to push back against these detrimental proposals that Frontier continues to come to the table with.
Remember, we are not the Union, YOU ARE THE UNION! And as a Union, we all get to decide what we are or are not willing to accept. As for your Union committee, we are not willing to accept anything that harms our families, our members' families, or any future IBEW Local 824 family.
Let's show Frontier what the words Brotherhood and Sisterhood truly mean and stand together to fight for a FAIR CONTRACT NOW!!!
Your Union Bargaining Committee
IBEW Local Union 824 Statement – Frontier Communications Fails Essential Workers
This story begins on April 1st of 2016. That is the day that Frontier Communications took over the Florida Region from Verizon and since that day, we the employees in the Florida Region have been under siege. Through no fault of our own, we have encountered many challenges that we thought we would never have to face.
From day one, as a result of Frontier Communication’s poor business decisions and faulty processes we have lost customers at an alarming rate. Despite these challenges, the members of IBEW Local Union 824 have stood by the company. We have done everything in our power to keep our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our communities on the Frontier network. We thought our loyalty would be recognized by our Frontier Management team. We were wrong!
When the COVID 19 pandemic hit and the virus raged, once again the members of IBEW Local Union 824 stood by the company. Our technicians continue to risk their lives everyday going into homes and businesses. Our customer service representatives working from home or going into the office continue to keep the network running. We know our customers need us so they can work from home and their children can learn from home. We thought our loyalty would be recognized by our Frontier Management team. We were wrong!
When Frontier Communications entered bankruptcy, the members of IBEW Local Union 824 stood by the company. We did not complain. We went to work and did our best to keep our customers and add new ones. When Frontier executives were rewarded with over $60 million in bonuses during bankruptcy we did not complain. When Frontier continued to receive millions each year in Government subsidies we did not complain. When the bankruptcy courts forgave billions and billions of Frontier’s debt, we did not complain. We thought our loyalty would be repaid once Frontier emerged from bankruptcy. We were wrong!
Our loyalty has been repaid with broken promises, the elimination of our 401K, the gutting of our healthcare during a pandemic, and the elimination of retiree healthcare after a lifetime of service. Our dedicated, long time employees are being left behind. Our stance is simple. If Frontier Communications can make their executives whole with over $60 million in bonuses, they can make their dedicated employees whole. A lifetime of climbing ladders, digging holes, going in attics, working in inclement weather, wearing our bodies out, providing unequal customer service to take care of the network and our customers does not seem to matter to Frontier. We thought it did. We thought if we gave the best years of our lives to Frontier Communications we would be rewarded with the promise of a secure and dignified retirement. We thought Frontier would keep that promise and reward our loyalty. Once again, we were wrong!
We demand a FAIR CONTRACT NOW and we demand Frontier Communications keep the promises made to us so many years ago.
The Officers, Staff and Members of IBEW Local Union 824
To all IBEW 824 members,
Our journey started on April Fool’s Day 2016 and as many of us know, the journey has not been smooth. Frontier’s broken systems and broken processes have led to broken promises. Through it all, we the members of IBEW Local Union 824 have stuck together, because all we have is each other. We started bargaining with the company in May of 2019 and here we are in April of 2021, still at the bargaining table.
Throughout this process the leadership of our Business Manager, Josh Saladino and his staff have been invaluable to this membership. Through a global pandemic and a bankruptcy, except for terminations, not a single member has lost their job, or been downgraded. It is worth repeating, not 1 single member has lost their job or experienced a downgrade. I have been questioned many times, why did the Union do this, why doesn’t the Union do that. My answer is simple. Keeping our members gainfully employed, so they can provide for their families is the reason. We weren’t going to sign an agreement just to sign an agreement. It wasn’t the Union who stopped bargaining during contract negotiations, it was Frontier.
When the company finally came to the bargaining table in earnest and decided to break those promises that were made to us many years ago, we responded the only way we know how. Concerted activity. We rented buses to take our members to the Super Bowl picket. We rented an aerial banner to fly over the stadium. We held pickets at the Monster Truck Jam and in Land O Lakes at the corner of US 41 and SR 54. We reached out to our local politicians to help us in this fight for a fair contract and we flew a huge banner along I4 that states “FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS FAILS ESSENTIAL WORKERS“. We rented billboards along I275 at Dale Mabry Hwy, both eastbound and westbound. We asked everyone to wear red on Thursday and black on Friday. We asked for our outside plant to perform their daily truck inspections, work to rule and picket their work centers weekly. We asked our inside plant to put “FAIR CONTRACT NOW” in their team chats, emails and also, work to rule.
With our contract expiring on April 16th, we are imploring that you help yourself and your Union bargaining committee make one last stand. We will be picketing the WWE Wrestlemania this Saturday April 10th from 530pm to 730pm. We will meet at Cancer Survivor’s Plaza located at the corner of Dale Mabry Hwy and MLK Blvd. There should be plenty of parking at Al Lopez park and around the stadium. We have also rented 3 digital media trucks to drive around the event on both Saturday and Sunday from 5pm to 8pm.
Our message from the beginning has been simple. We have stood by this company through the transition, a global pandemic, and bankruptcy. The company had billions of their debt forgiven and still paid their executives over 63 million. We want to be made whole, like the executives were with a FAIR CONTRACT NOW. If you believe like I do that we deserve to have those promises kept, then I’ll see you Saturday, as we make one last push before the contract expires on April 16th, 2021.
President IBEW LU 824
Expires 11:59 p.m.
July 17, 2021
EXPIRES 11:59 P.M.
APRIL 16, 2021