Unions Fight Against Verizon Landline Sale to Frontier

The gloves will come off at a rally Sunday in Charleston, W. Va., where politicians and union members plan to protest the sale of thousands of Verizon landlines to Frontier Communications.

The proposed $8.6 billion deal that covers 14 states has drawn fire since it was proposed last year. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers claims customer service will be worse and consumers will see costs rise under Frontier.

West Virginia’s Public Service Commission is taking a look at the proposal next week, conducting hearings. The deal has already received support from the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and a handful of states; however, rejection of the plan is being recommended by West Virginia’s consumer advocate division and staff of the state’s PSC.

The Communications Workers of America is also on board for the protest, claiming that customers under the new Frontier umbrella could be “stuck with dial-up Internet [because] the infrastructure hasn’t been properly maintained.” But a Verizon spokesperson told the Ft. Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette that the unions “are doing their membership a disservice.”

Frontier claims to specialize in rural areas, where many of the lines are located. The company also says it’s been able to reduce its debt in recent months.

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