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The Next Two Years Should Be Interesting Listening To The Science Deniers (Op-Ed By Susan Bruce)

Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from the surface of a Vero cell (African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line. Credit: NIAID

(original title)
In the United States, in the 21st Century
By Susan Bruce for the Conway Daily Sun

Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from the surface of a Vero cell (African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line. Credit: NIAID

Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from the surface of a Vero cell (African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line. Credit: NIAID)

Three weeks ago, the news was all Ebola, all the time. Todd Kincannon, the former Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party announced, “the protocol for a positive Ebola test should be immediate humane execution and sanitization of the whole area. That will save lives.” The President was labeled inept and weak at handling the crisis! We needed more leadership! Retread Congressman-elect Frank Guinta insisted that there needed to be a travel ban. Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas accused Obama of unleashing Ebola on Murka to seize more power. Louie Gohmert (whose continual reelection is proof that we shouldn’t wait for Texas to secede, we should just go ahead and build a wall around the state) claimed that Ebola is “the Democrats war on women.” Women are nurses, you see.

Corrupt blowhard and birther Donald Trump blamed Obama for Ebola, referred to him as “Barry Sotoro,” and called for his resignation. This, dear readers, is the same Donald Trump who was chosen by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications as the keynote speaker at their First Amendment Awards dinner. The award was given posthumously to James Foley. James Foley was a reporter who lost his life in pursuit of reporting from dangerous areas of our world. Choosing Trump as the keynote speaker at an event honoring this brave man is a level of tone deafness that surprises even me, coming from the Loeb/McQuaid crowd. This can only be described as an obscenity. Trump used the opportunity to bloviate about Obama. He’s still bleating about the need for Ebola quarantines. The one true thing he said was to James Foley’s parents, “Your son was far greater than I, and far greater than I will ever be.”

Obama was even criticized for not having a Surgeon General. The reason we don’t have one is Rand Paul. The President’s choice for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murphy regards gun proliferation and violence as a health problem. Senator Paul, Republican of the NRA district, placed a hold on Dr. Murphy’s nomination.

There have been 4 cases of Ebola in the United States. One man died.

New Congresswoman and juggler of hog testicles, Joni Ernst of Iowa was at an event the other day talking about Ebola. Reporter Charlie Pierce pointed out that there was (on that day) a single case of Ebola in the United States. Ernst’s response? “That’s your opinion,” she said. Buckle up kids. The next 2 years are going to be a bumpy ride.

There are zero cases of Ebola in the United States. That was accomplished without travel bans or humane executions. Now that there isn’t a low information electorate to whip into a frenzy of fear, we won’t hear much more about it. It’s not as if we actually care about sick people in Africa.

In other news, a whole lot of bizarre was just elected to legislatures across the land.

In Colorado, Tea Party Pastor Gordon Klingenschmitt was just elected to the state legislature, with 70 percent of the vote. Klingenschmitt claims to have performed numerous exorcisms on gay people. Gay people “want your soul,” he says. He also claims to have performed an exorcism on President Obama, to rid him of the demons of tyranny. How disappointed Klingenschmitt must be that Obama is still black.

This guy was elected by a huge percentage. In the United States in the 21st century.

In Georgia, newly elected Congressman Jody Hice is worried about lunar eclipses. It seems that the religious right thinks that lunar eclipses are signs of God’s impending judgment against Murka for the sins of gay equality and abortion. Jody Hice has a talk radio show, and told his listeners that the appearance of blood moons “has preceded world changing, shaking type events.” In another era, living in a cave, Hice would have been advocating blood sacrifices to the gods to appease them. In the 21st century, he was elected to the US House of Representatives.

New Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman once warned that sex education classes are a secret plot to turn kids gay. He’s also said that money is more important for men than women, that days off from work are “a little ridiculous,” that Kwanzaa is a conspiracy promoted by white people, and that people on food stamps don’t act poor enough. In the 21st century, this man was elected to Congress.

New Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke told a Republican group that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is “the antichrist.” Naturally when he was called out for his comment, he claimed he was joking.

Joni Ernst isn’t just an expert on Ebola. She told Iowans last year that Agenda 21 agents were likely to start moving people off their agricultural land and sending them to the cities, after which their land would be confiscated. Agenda 21 is a non-binding treaty on sustainable development that was written over 20 years ago. Ted Cruz predicts Agenda 21 will bring an end to paved roads and golf courses. Both of these people are elected members of the US Congress, in the 21st century.

Ben Carson, a columnist at World Nut Daily is gearing up for a presidential run. He recently announced that he would cut back on voter fraud by undocumented workers by revoking their citizenship and deporting them.

Here in NH, the electorate has apparently determined that we need to revisit the 2011-2012 legislative debacle. The humiliation and destruction visited upon the state during those years was apparently easily forgotten, so now we have some retreads being sent back, along with a bumper crop of Free Staters and other dubious characters.

With the Republicans in control of the NH House, the position of Speaker is being hotly contested, and the rumors are rampant. Bill O’Brien wants desperately to return to his position as Official Petty Tyrant, and has reportedly sent out a hatchet man to threaten, cajole, and bribe various members to support him, with promises of committee chairmanships. The Tea Party-John Bircher- Free Stater crowd loves O’Brien. He’s unencumbered by truth or ethics.

On the other side of the GOP, Senator Kelly Ayotte, former governors John Sununu and Steve Merrill, former Congressman Charlie Bass, and former Speakers Doug Scamman and Donna Sytek are all urging House members to support Rep. Gene Chandler as Speaker. The decision will be made next week.

An O’Brien Speakership on the cusp of the First in the Nation Primary can only be a disaster for the NH Republican Party. That he’s even being considered for the position should frighten any thinking person.

“This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.”  ~ Charlie Pierce

US Postal Service Set to Make Devastating Cuts in Service and Further Dismantle the Postal Network


NH Postal Workers holding a Candlelight Vigil and Funeral Procession to Mourn Service Cuts and to Deliver a Message – ‘Stop Delaying America’s Mail’ – Protests are being Held Throughout the Country

City Hall Plaza, 904 Elm Street Manchester, NH

Friday, November 14, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

NH – As a part of a national day of action NH Postal Workers will be passing out flyers and talking to the public at several Post Offices across the state. Afternoon leafleting will be followed by a Candlelight Vigil and Funeral Procession at City Hall Plaza to mourn the loss of speedy, reliable service. Postal workers want the public to be aware that unless they are stopped, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors are poised to make devastating cuts in service to the American people – cuts so severe that they would forever damage the U.S. Postal Service.

On Jan. 5, the USPS is slated to lower “service standards” virtually eliminating overnight delivery – including first-class mail going from one address to another within the same city or town. Also beginning in January, 82 Mail Processing & Distribution Centers in 37 states are scheduled to close/consolidate.

This will impact service in every state. All mail throughout the country (including medicine, online purchases, local newspapers, bill payments, letters and invitations) would be delayed.
Our entire community would lose business opportunities associated with ecommerce, which relies heavily on the speedy delivery of items ordered online.

These cuts would cause hardships for the public and small businesses, eliminate jobs, and destroy the world’s most efficient and affordable delivery network. It will drive away opportunities and revenue. This same flawed strategy seeks to end Saturday and door-to-door deliveries, cut back post office hours, and make other reductions in mail service.

The Postal Service is NOT funded by taxpayer dollars. These reckless cuts are not necessary and will likely cost the postal service in the long run. The Postal Service, thanks partly to a rapid expansion of package delivery has earned an operating profit of over $1 Billion so far this year.

The Postal Service does not need to be torn apart or privatized. It can continue to provide universal service to all. The obstacles faced by the Postal Service were placed there in 2006, when they were operating with record profits. Congress mandated that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health benefits 75 years in advance – something no other public agency or private firm is required to do. That costs the Postal Service $5.6 billion a year.

Postal Reform is needed, not cuts in Service! Fifty-one senators and 160 House members have called for a one-year moratorium on reductions in service and the closing/consolidation of mail processing centers to allow Congress time to enact postal legislation that would improve, not degrade, postal service.

The Postmaster General and USPS Board of Governors should honor their request.

For more information, visit www.StopMailDelays.org.

“Democracy in Action” Conference Focuses on Reducing Political Influence of Corporations and Big Money


MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE—Eleven days after the most expensive mid-term election in US history, New Hampshire activists will gather on Saturday, November 15 at Manchester Community College to learn how to make their own voices heard in the run-up to New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Open Democracy, and NH Peace Action, the 2014 “Democracy in Action” conference will focus on reducing the influence of corporations and big money on American politics.

“Fifty years after President Eisenhower warned the nation about the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial-complex, the problem has only gotten worse,” said Will Hopkins, Director of NH Peace Action.  “Now, it’s ultra-wealthy individuals and a wide range of corporate interests that are drowning out the voices and votes of ordinary citizens,” said Hopkins, an Iraq war veteran.

“In New Hampshire we have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the candidates,” said Olivia Zink, AFSC’s Grassroots Engagement Coordinator, “and with a bit of training and planning, we can make sure they hear our concerns about corporate influence and big money.”

“It’s no surprise that nine in ten Americans believe special interest money holds excessive influence in politics or that eight in ten Americans support limits on campaign spending,” observed Dan Weeks of Open Democracy, who noted that nearly $50 million was spent just on the recent campaign for the US Senate. “That’s about $100 for everyone who voted, and most of it was spent on negative ads,” Weeks said.

The Democracy in Action conference will take place from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 15.  It will include workshops on campaign skills, especially how to communicate effectively with electoral candidates through a process activists call “bird-dogging.”   Other workshops will examine news-media relations, bringing resolutions to Town Meetings, free speech rights, and public speaking.  Topical workshops will focus on corporate influence over foreign policy, health care, and environmental matters, plus others dealing with the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, corporate influence on state policy, and the impact of the money-driven political system on efforts to reduce poverty.

Participants will also learn about AFSC’s “Governing Under the Influence” project, Open Democracy’s proposals for campaign reform, and the NH Rebellion’s plans for “Granny D” walks in January.

Following the conference, attendees will have an opportunity to see a new documentary film, “Pay 2 Play,” which exposes the influence of money on our political system and explores steps to put voters back in control.

Manchester Community College is located at 1066 Front Street in Manchester. Admission is free.  Participants are strongly encouraged to pre-register. Additional information is available at:  http://afsc.org/event/democracy-action-conference.

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization supported by people of many faiths who care about social justice and peace.  It’s NH Primary season project focuses on excessive corporate influence in American politics.

Open Democracy is a New Hampshire organization founded by Doris “Granny D” Haddock to strengthen democracy and stop the corrupting influence of special interest money in politics.

New Hampshire Peace Action is a statewide group working to end wars, eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide, and shift resources from war-making to programs that meet human needs.

In addition to AFSC, NH Peace Action, and Open Democracy, the conference is also supported by People for the American Way, Public Citizen, the Stamp Stampede, NH Sierra Club, Free Speech for People, and Granite State Progress.

Social Movement Technologies Is Giving Away Free Online Support To One Lucky Non-Profit

http://2bgr8stock.deviantart.com/art/Money-Cash6-117258936 By 2bgr8STOCK

Social Movement Technologies is looking to help social justice non-profits increase their online presence.  They are offering six months of online support, a $2500 value to some lucky non-profit. Read the message from Hannah and then take a few minutes to apply, it never hurts to apply.

Do you wish you had more experienced guidance and support to ramp up with social media on your campaigns? Are you posting and tweeting but want to do more to really engage members, get media attention, and build pressure on targets to win?

We’ve raised funds to provide up to six months of online support and guidance ($2500 for each of six groups so far). We’re reaching out to progressive funders and welcome private donations so we can offer more to more groups. In the meantime, we’ve crafted a short application and promise to offer a discount on training to all who apply.

To qualify your organization must be a 501(c)3, or sponsored by a c3. [If you are with a union, we hope you’ll forward this email to a community-labor coalition you may be part of that has c3 status, and we’re glad to work with you outside this grant process.]

Here’s the application link: http://bit.ly/1DrpMOF



Striking FairPoint Workers Holding Major Rally Saturday in Portland


– Hundreds of FairPoint strikers and supporters to rally in Monument Square for good New England jobs and quality service

– 2,000 Maine, N.H., Vt. strikers fighting the North Carolina-based company’s push to slash middle-class jobs, outsource work to unqualified contractors

– As strike enters fourth week, FairPoint failing to keep up with customer complaints, drawing fire from state regulators

WHEN: Saturday, November 8, Noon
WHERE: Monument Square, Portland, ME (Intersection of Congress & Elm St.)

PORTLAND — Hundreds of striking FairPoint workers will be joined by supporters from across the Northeast at a major rally Saturday in Portland’s Monument Square. The workers are striking for good jobs and quality service for northern New England.

Roughly 2,000 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have been on strike against FairPoint Communications since October 17.

The FairPoint workers began negotiations for a new union contract in April and offered the company more than $200 million in cost savings during the talks. But the company made no substantive compromises during five months of bargaining. In August, FairPoint official abruptly walked away from the table and imposed $700 million in deep and damaging cuts.

The workers—members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA)—spent nearly two more months trying to find common ground with FairPoint negotiators. But with the company refusing to negotiate, union workers launched their strike.

Since the walkout began, FairPoint customers have been plagued by service disruptions. Media across northern New England have reported on the outages, and this week Vermont’s Public Service Department told FairPoint to reduce its number of customer complaints or face an investigation. The department said it has seen a spike in long repair times since the strike began. On Wednesday FairPoint issued a press release apologizing to customers for long wait times and service interruptions.

FairPoint officials recently agreed to a federal mediator’s request to return to the bargaining table and meet with union officials on Nov. 18 in Boston. While FairPoint workers are encouraged by the announcement of the Nov. 18 meeting, they say their strike will continue until the two sides reach a fair agreement.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.

Oct. 23 2014 Weekly Summary Of Communication Positions Posted At UnionJobs

Union Jobs Logo 400x400

Union Jobs header

For more information go to UnionJobs.com

AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
Development Manager, Digital Strategies Department  District of Columbia
Strategic Campaigns Coordinator, Organizing Department  District of Columbia
Safety and Health Fellow, AFL-CIO Safety and Health Department  District of Columbia
Corporate Research Analyst, Office of Investment  District of Columbia

AFSCME (Council 3)
Database Analyst and IT Coordinator, Baltimore  Maryland

AFT (American Federation of Teachers)
Communications Director, Local 400, PFT (Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers)  Pennsylvania
Human/Civil Rights Advocacy Director, Human Rights and Community Relations Department District of Columbia
Senior Associate/Writer, Communications Department District of Columbia

California Labor Federation
Communications Specialist  California

CNA/NNU (California Nurses Association (CNA) / National Nurses United (NNU) AFL-CIO)
Web Editor, Oakland  California

CPD (Center for Popular Democracy)
Fair Workweek Campaign Coordinator, New York City,  New York

FEA (Florida Education Association)
Director of Information Technology, Tallahassee, Florida  (National Posting)

IFPTE (International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21)
Communications And Research Specialist, San Francisco Bay Area California

LIUNA (Laborers International Union of North America)
Media Outreach Manager, Washington D.C.  District of Columbia

NNU (National Nurses United)
Video Specialist, Oakland  California
Educator – Immediate Opening, San Francisco Bay area  California
Communications Specialist, Oakland California

NTEU (National Treasury Employees Union)
Media Specialist (Posted: 9/24/2014) District of Columbia

NYHTC (New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council)
Video Communications SupervisorNew York

Public Citizen – Global Trade Watch
Communications Officer  District of Columbia
National Field Director  District of Columbia

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists)
Video Specialist – Communications & Marketing Department, Los Angeles  California

SEIU (1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East)
Communications Specialist, Boston  Massachusetts
Web-Graphic Designer, Baltimore  Maryland

SEIU (Local 32BJ)
Communications Specialist: Mid-Atlantic Region, Philadelphia based Pennsylvania
Regional Communications Manager: New York  New York 

SEIU (Local 721)
Communications Specialist  California

SEIU (SEIU Healthcare 775NW)
Communications Specialist, Seattle  Washington

UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers International Union)
Senior Strategic Targeting Coordinator, Washington D.C.  District of Columbia

UFT (United Federation of Teachers)
Digital Content Specialist, New York  New York

United NY
New Media Associate, Manhattan New York

Wisconsin Jobs Now
 Online Campaigner  National

Working America (a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO)
Communications Director  District of Columbia
Health Care Outreach Associates, Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Greensboro, NC; Houston, TX; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Orange County, CA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Washington, DC  (National Posting)
Writer  District of Columbia

VIDEO: At Tonight’s Debate Scott Brown Falsely Claims He Never Voted To Outsource Jobs

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 10.50.57 PM

FACT CHECK: Brown Voted to Protect Tax Breaks for Companies That Outsource, Now Personally Profiting from Company that Sent Jobs to China and Mexico

Concord – This evening Scott Brown falsely claimed he never voted to protect tax breaks for companies that outsource. The truth: he did, and is now personally profiting from a company that sent jobs to China and Mexico. In fact, just two days before entering the race for the Senate in New Hampshire, Brown even signed legal documents endorsing that company’s use of “low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico” to increase its bottom line.

To watch the video of Scott Brown’s false claim, click here: http://youtu.be/7bQdNEsM8vQ

THE FACTS: Scott Brown Voted To Protect Tax Breaks For Companies That Ship U.S. Jobs Overseas And Is Now Profiting from a Company that Sent Jobs to China and Mexico

  • Brown Voted Against A Bill To Close Tax Loopholes That Reward Companies For Shipping U.S. Jobs Overseas And To Provide Incentives To Businesses Hiring American Workers For Jobs Performed Overseas.   [Vote 242, 9/28/10]
  • CNNMoney: Bill Would Have Given Companies Break on Payroll Taxes for New U.S. jobs That Replace Positions Based Overseas, Would Have “Reined In Tax Incentives for Moving Jobs Outside the United States.” [CNNMoney, 9/28/10]
  • CNNMoney: Bill Aimed to Discourage Companies That Ship Jobs Abroad by Eliminating Favorable Tax Rates. [CNNMoney, 9/28/10]

Cashing In With An Outsourcing Company

  • Feb. 2013: Kadant Appointed Brown To Its Board Of Directors And Pointed To Brown’s Massachusetts Roots. [Westford Eagle, 2/21/13]
  • Brown Earned $270,000 Since Joining Kadant’s Board. [Nashua Telegraph, 8/22/14]

Kadant Is An Unabashed Outsourcer With A “Penchant For Exporting Jobs To Cheap Foreign Labor Alternatives” To Pad Its Bottom Line

  • Kadant Was A Company With A “Penchant For Exporting Jobs To Cheap Foreign Labor Alternatives Such As China.  [Nashua Telegraph, 8/22/14]
  •  Kadant CEO: Move to Chinese “Sourcing” Provided Kadant with a “Nice Margin Opportunity.” [Fair Disclosure Wire, Kadant Inc. Annual Shareholders Meeting, 5/24/07]
  • In 2005, Kadant Closed A U.S. Manufacturing Facility “For Outsourcing;” CEO Called The Move “Necessary” As Kadant Shifted “Toward Lower Cost Regions Such As China.” [Nashua Telegraph, 8/22/14]
  • In 2009, Kadant CFO Said Company Decided to “Source” More Products from China for Mexican Operations. [Fair Disclosure Wire, Kadant Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Conference Call, 5/07/09]

As A Member Of The Board, Brown Signed Off On Kadant’s Decision To “Concentrate Its Efforts” In “Low Cost Manufacturing Bases” Like China & Mexico

  • Kadant 2013 Annual Report Said The Company Utilized “Low Cost Manufacturing Bases, Such As China And Mexico” To “Improve” The Company’s “Internal Growth.” [Kadant 2013 Annual Report, 3/12/14]
  •  As A Member Of The Board Of Directors, Brown Signed This Annual Report Two Days Before He Launched His Exploratory Committee For Senate In New Hampshire. [Kadant 2013 Annual Report, 3/12/14; CNN, 3/14/14]

Shea-Porter Cleans Up at NH1 Debate; Guinta Runs From Extreme Record

Carol Shea Porter - Frank Guinta

CONCORD—Carol Shea-Porter emerged the clear winner at tonight’s NH1 debate, discussing the work she is doing to create jobs around the District, including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and offering solutions for middle class families that left Frank Guinta fumbling to defend his extreme Tea Party record.

“While Carol highlighted her work for New Hampshire’s middle class, Frank Guinta refused to explain his anti-middle-class budgets that would hurt seniors, came out in opposition to our state’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion, and wouldn’t tell voters why he voted against Planned Parenthood and why he opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother,” said Shea-Porter spokeswoman Marjorie Connolly. “First District voters have a clear choice on November 4th between Tea Partier Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter, who’s working for the ‘Rest of Us.’”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley released the following statement after tonight’s New Hampshire 1st Congressional debate:

“Tonight’s debate featured Tea Party former congressman Frank Guinta reiterate his extreme Koch Brothers agenda that includes cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans and big oil companies at the expense of middle-class families, cutting Social Security and privatizing Medicare, and opposing a woman’s right to choose even to save the life of the mother.”

“Granite State voters will reject Frank Guinta’s out-of-touch Tea Party views and his mystery-money scandals, and continue to support Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s proven record of standing up for middle-class priorities and supporting economic growth here in New Hampshire.”

Unions Respond to Company Claims of Intimidation and Call Jamming

FairPoint Communications

Company Makes Accusations Without Evidence Leaders Say

Augusta, ME—Union leaders responded to FairPoint’s public statement suggesting that some unnamed individuals are engaged in “phone jamming activity,” saying that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America are absolutely unaware of any persons or organizations intentionally jamming FairPoint call center lines through automated means. Union leaders have asked FairPoint to provide any specific information or evidence regarding these allegations so that they may investigate the Company’s claims.

As to the allegations regarding the unions’ picketing activities, the company has similarly failed to provide any information or evidence as to when and where any union member has engaged in any unlawful conduct. The law provides that unions may lawfully and peacefully picket at company facilities and any other work site where union work is being performed. The goal of such picketing is to send a message regarding the company’s unfair labor practices to the managers and out-of-state replacement workers who have come into our communities to take local workers’ jobs. The unions deeply regret any inconvenience this picketing activity may cause to FairPoint customers. The suggestion that the unions would seek to intimidate our neighbors and friends in the communities where we live and work is outrageous and unfounded.

Prior to the strike action, the unions carefully trained our members about their federally-protected rights to engage in peaceful picketing activity. We will continue to work hard to ensure that our labor action is safe and respectful to our neighbors and friends throughout Northern New England, but we will not let FairPoint use these spurious and unfounded allegations to take the spotlight off of the company’s unfair practices and unwillingness to provide appropriate working conditions for the hard-working men and women who have served these communities for many years.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.fairnessatfairpoint.com.

Strike Against FairPoint Continues as Nor’easter Approaches

FairPoint Communications

Fairness at Fairpoint Banner

Strikers fear replacement workers can’t handle complications of looming storm

Manchester, NH—Tuesday marks the fifth day of a strike against FairPoint Communications by nearly 2,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The strike began last Friday after FairPoint walked out of negotiations and unilaterally imposed contract terms that cut retiree health care, froze pensions, and increased health care costs.

Hundreds of FairPoint employees continue to picket 12 hours a day at dozens of sites across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. They have been joined by supporters from other unions in the region and by elected leaders, including New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan.

With the arrival of the season’s first nor’easter this week, experienced technicians are expressing concern that FairPoint’s replacement workers will be unable to handle the challenges that come with high winds and heavy rain.

Steve Soule, a Manchester, New Hampshire, service technician who has been on the job for 17 years, explains, “Normally, with a storm like this, me and my fellow techs would be preparing generators and staging our materials to respond to weather-related outages. We would be preparing for possible flooding which can knock out systems that provide 911 and other essential communications. I’m concerned that FairPoint doesn’t have enough staff with the expertise to deal with a widespread service interruption.”

Soule went on to talk about the local knowledge that’s vital to keeping people connected and the public safe. “Because many of us have been working in these communities for decades, we know where the vulnerabilities are. We know where back-up batteries might be weak and where phone and DSL lines are most likely to go down,” said Soule. “Some inexperienced replacement worker from out-of-state couldn’t possibly anticipate those problems. I worry that if this storm is as bad as some of the nor’easters we’ve experienced in the recent past, our communities could see lengthy service interruptions made longer because of this replacement workforce. It’s not just about convenience, it’s about public safety.”

Workers on the picket lines stress that they are on the same side as their customers. They want Northern New England to have the best possible phone and Internet service. To provide 21st-century technology to businesses, schools, and families requires well-trained, experienced, local workers who know the system.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.fairnessatfairpoint.com.

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