Striking Consolidated Workers Back on the Job


Published on December 13 2012 12:14 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Consolidated Communications union employees have ended their strike and are reporting back to work without a contract.

The employees are members of Local 702 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.  The employees began returning to work as of 9pm Wednesday.  A Consolidated press release indicates that union leadership approached company officials Tuesday evening to inform the company their membership was returning to work.

Consolidated's Director of Human Resources Ryan Whitlock said the company worked through the day Wednesday to prepare for the union workforce to come back to work.  Whitlock said, "Our business is complex and in order to integrate the large number of union employees back into the workforce with the least disruption to our customers we needed a day to prepare."  He said, "We have work orders staged and customer commitments and it's our responsibility to meet these commitments."

Whitlock added that "it is the IBEW leadership's responsibility to provide accurate information to the membership" and that he was unsure what employees had been told.

On Monday, Consolidated sent a letter to union members' homes with information about the work stoppage, and IBEW members began receiving that letter as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Union members declared a work stoppage at 10pm Thursday, December 6.  Both sides agreed to resume negotiations today.

The company's union-represented employees include technicians, customer service representatives, repair, warehouse and facilities employees.

The Communication Centers in Mattoon, Taylorville and Litchfield re-opened today.