- Associated Press - Saturday, August 4, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Latest on contract negotiations between Consolidated, unions (all times local):

11:52 p.m.

Consolidated Communications and unions representing about 1,000 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have reached tentative agreements on a new contract, averting a strike.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications Workers of America already authorized a strike but the labor agreement came before the contract expired at midnight Saturday.

Union negotiators said the agreements protect jobs, maintain affordable health care, and provide enhanced retirement benefits. They said the agreements responded to their members’ and customers’ needs while also addressing fast-paced changes in the telecommunications industry. Union members in the three states will hold meetings to discuss the agreement “in coming days.”



These were the first negotiations since a four-month strike preceded an agreement with FairPoint Communications.

Illinois-based Consolidated purchased FairPoint last year. Consolidated Communications provides telephone and broadband internet in northern New England. It also operates in 21 other states.

___

10:30 a.m.

Consolidated Communications and unions representing more than 1,000 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are continuing negotiations as a deadline nears.

The two sides are seeking an agreement before the current labor contract expires at midnight Saturday.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications Workers of America already authorized a strike, but it’s unclear if it’ll come to that.

These are the first contract negotiations by the unions since a four-month strike against FairPoint Communications. Illinois-based Consolidated purchased FairPoint last year.

Consolidated Communications provides telephone and broadband internet in northern New England. It also operates in 21 other states.

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