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Busload of union workers head to Frontier shareholders meeting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A busload of local communications workers is traveling to Frontier Communications' corporate offices in Connecticut to participate in the company's annual shareholders meeting.

Dozens of members of the Communications Workers of America union boarded a charter bus in Charleston Tuesday morning to make the 12-hour trip to Frontier headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

Elaine Harris, the union's international representative, said a local contingent of workers has traveled to the annual meeting each year since Verizon first announced its intent to sell its West Virginia phone business to Frontier in 2009.

Local union members have made a practice of attending shareholder meetings in recent years. In addition to Frontier, Harris said representatives have attended annual meetings of Verizon, AT&T and other local telecommunications firms.

She said the shareholder meetings give workers a good opportunity to interact with company management.

"It's a good educational experience for those that have not attended," Harris said. "Each time you learn something new."

She said members want company leaders to continue to invest in West Virginia.

"Our focus is on jobs for West Virginia and taking care of the customer," Harris said.

In addition to boosting employment, she said maintaining an adequate workforce in the state will help maintain and improve phone service for local customers.

Unlike other company shareholder meetings, which typically take place in large hotel ballrooms, the Frontier meeting will be held at the company's corporate offices in Stamford.

Harris said the room at Frontier headquarters holds about 100 people.

"With our busload and others who attend, it's quite full," she said.

But she said the close quarters are a benefit because it helps workers get close to company decision makers.

Frontier released its first quarter 2013 earnings earlier this week. The company reported net income of $250.8 million for the quarter, up from $208.5 million during the first quarter of 2012.

The company saw declines in overall business and residential customers, though at a slower pace than in prior quarters, and saw an increase in broadband customers over the latest quarter.

Frontier added 28,200 broadband customers during the first quarter of 2013 as compare to the 23,400 it added throughout 2012.

"In the first quarter of 2013 Frontier achieved the strongest rate of broadband net additions since our acquisition of the Verizon properties in July 2010," Frontier chairman and chief executive officer Maggie Wilderotter said in the company's earnings press release.

Harris said union workers hold shares in Frontier stock so they will be able to participate in several votes during the annual meeting.

Shareholders will elect members to the company's board of directors, as well as approve executive compensation and bonus plans during the meeting.

Contact writer Jared Hunt at or 304-348-4836.


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