COLCHESTER, Vt. — Contract talks have resumed between FairPoint Communications and the largest union representing workers across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers officials say FairPoint is determined to gut benefits. The union represents about 1,800 FairPoint employees in the three states.

Union officials say members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if necessary in Maine and Vermont. Union officials say New Hampshire members’ totals aren’t counted, but they believe strike authorization passed.

Health and retirement benefits are among the issues yet to be resolved. The company says current benefits are out of sync with industry norms and that it remains focused on reaching a successful agreement.

FairPoint spokeswoman Angelynne Amores Beaudry says the company has a plan in place to ensure continued service if workers strike.

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