Tag Archives: West Virginia

Striking Frontier Workers Face Restraining Order

A judge issued a temporary restraining order against striking Frontier Communications workers in West Virginia and Ashburn, Virginia, preventing them from “engaging in certain unlawful violence, property damage, and mass picketing” that the company claims has occurred during the ongoing strike. Communications Workers of America District 12-13 Vice President Ed Mooney says there have been no incidents of strike-related misconduct.

“The company’s action comes in the face of tremendous support that residents and business owners across West Virginia have shown for the strike, and shows that the company is worried because that support could spread to Connecticut, where Frontier workers have set up informational pickets at work locations and at Frontier’s headquarters,” he says.

The strike follows 10 months of negotiations on a contract that was set to expire August 4, 2017, but was extended twice to March 4. For the striking CWA Local 142 members, job security is the main concern. Customer service complaints have been on the rise as Frontier has cut more than 500 middle-class jobs, sometimes replacing them with contractors unfit to service the network. The union wants 100% of the employees to have protection against layoffs, while Frontier is willing to offer only 85%, leaving about 200 employees at risk.

Convicted Ex-Coal Boss Runs for Senate

Don Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy Co. during the 2010 disaster at its Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners, is running for Senate in West Virginia.

Following an extensive government investigation, Blankenship was convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws and served a year in prison in California. He unsuccessfully appealed the conviction all the way to the Supreme Court. Blankenship is currently under federal supervision as a condition of his conviction and is prohibited from leaving the state of Nevada until May 2018.

Blankenship will face West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Representative Evan Jenkins in the Republican primary. If he successfully wins the GOP nomination, he will face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin, who was governor at the time of the disaster and was a leading figure denouncing Blankenship.