PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Unions representing nearly 2,000 employees of telecommunications firm FairPoint Communications in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are scheduling a strike authorization vote from July 11 to 13.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers System Council T-9 and Communications Workers of America Local 1400 began negotiating with management on April 25. Their contracts expire on Aug. 2.

The strike authorization vote is required in advance of a work stoppage, but does not require the union members to go on strike. Union leadership could make that decision later. Leaders of both unions say they expected members to vote in favor of strike authorization.

Fairpoint has about 2,800 workers total in the three northern New England states.


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