The rumors of a sale have been out there for months now and if you have been listening to what Lowell McAdams has been saying for quite some time, it is official we have been sold to Frontier. Unfortunately, Verizon was not the first to officially notify us of the sale, it was Frontier. On February 5th, Frontier Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Cecilia McKenney, along with Frontier Senior Vice President Labor Relations, Bob Costagliola, IBEW Telecommunication Director, Martha Pultar, I/O Telecommunications Representative, Robert Prunn, and I were on a conference call where it was explained that the sale was official. During that call Mrs. McKenney explained that Frontier will acquire Verizon’s wireline operations that provide services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in Florida, Texas and California for $10.54 billion in cash. Mrs. Mc Kenney stated Frontier expects the sale to pass all regulatory approval necessary and that the sale will close within the first half of 2016. Upon completion of the sale, Frontier will honor our Collective Bargaining Agreement that is in effect until July 22, 2017. In addition, it was explained that the pension fund will be 100% funded at the time of the sale and that Frontier will retain the rights for the FiOS brand for 5 years as of the sale date.
While the sale is going through the regulatory process our local, along with the assistance from the International Office of IBEW, will be staying on top of the progress to ensure we will be prepared to present any and all legal challenges that may be necessary to protect our members.
While it is entirely too early to determine what this will mean for our members, one thing is perfectly clear, over the last few years Verizon has proven that their primary focus is with Verizon Wireless and that they are not interested in building out the FiOS network or retaining the wireline customers in this market. While this is an unsettling time of uncertainty, please understand that we will present any and all questions that our members may have, to Verizon Labor and provide the response as soon as possible. We will keep you informed of any new information as it becomes available.