Consolidated workers agree to 3-year contracts in Vt., NH, Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) TTwo unions representing about 1,000 Consolidated Communications workers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine have approved three-year contracts.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications Workers of America on Friday announced the outcome of voting.

Union officials said the contracts, reached last weekend, will protect jobs, maintain affordable health care, and provide enhanced retirement benefits. They also said an early retirement package mitigates the impact if some call center jobs are moved out of state.

It's the first contract since Consolidated bought FairPoint Communications last year. Workers struck against FairPoint for four months in late 2014 and early 2015.

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

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