FairPoint Communications Stops Health Benefits for Workers on Strike
On Saturday, Angelynne Beaudry a spokeswoman for FairPoint Communications said that the company has ceased to provide health coverage for the workers who have gone on strike.
The spokeswoman said that the workers on strike can continue with their health coverage under the federal law which is called COBRA. However they must pay for the expenses themselves.
However, Beaudry did not mention if the cut in the health insurance will be of any help while the company goes in for negotiation talks.
She said "They're not working for the company. They're on strike. Most benefits, including medical coverage, require a minimum number of scheduled work hours to maintain eligibility. So when union members went on strike they became ineligible under the plan."
About 2,000 workers who are members of a union in locations of Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire went on strike from October 16 following held up contact talks which went on for months.
The company is looking for approximately $700 million through contract concessions. The negotiators of the Union desire to limit their losses at around $200 million.
One of the troubled issues in the talks was the health premiums. Currently the company pays hundred percent of health premiums monthly but wishes to move about twenty percent of the cost to the workers.