The impasse at FairPoint is not just about FairPoint, it represents the truth about the direction this country has taken in the last two decades and will continue to go unless we stand up together and support our middle class, the hard-working people who have made this country what it was.

The middle class is fast disappearing and being replaced by the few who are very rich, while the remaining struggle to get a job with benefits that can sustain a family.

The FairPoint representatives are crying poverty and claiming the benefits they have recently taken away from workers is somehow fair. In 2012, the FairPoint CEO earned $4.2 million in total compensation, including his baseline salary of $750,000. In 2013, his salary alone was increased by another $50,000. Of the approximate 2,800 employees of Fairpoint in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, only about 1,700 are union members. That works out to one manager for every 1.5 workers.

The unions representing these 1,700 workers have offered cost-saving proposals that would save $200 million over three years. This was not enough for the greedy hedge fund owners of FairPoint. They turned that offer down. Money talks. Wall Street, corporate executives and Congress are very rich because of it.

Please do not be fooled or complacent; this fight is about much more than good-paying, local jobs, health care and pensions. It’s about every single one of us standing up and fighting back against corporate greed and those who think the power and influence of their financial backing can speak louder than the voices of working, middle-class people. We need to stand up and support our FairPoint workers in their quest to achieve fairness at FairPoint.

Debbie Beaulieu

Sidney

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