FairPoint contract expires this weekend


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - FairPoint Communications and unions representing 1,700 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are up against a weekend deadline in their ongoing contract negotiations.

Negotiations that began in April have failed to produce agreement as the current contract approaches expiration late Saturday.

The unions are unhappy with the company's proposed changes to health and retirement benefits, as well as changes aimed at allowing greater use of non-union workers. The company says its benefits are out of sync with industry norms.

Negotiations were continuing Friday.

Union workers already have authorized a strike. That gives leaders of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers the ability to call a strike, but it doesn't mean a strike is imminent.


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