Unions representing Consolidated Communications workers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont authorized a strike if negotiators fail to reach an agreement before their contract expires in less than two weeks, officials announced Wednesday.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications Workers of America are engaged in their first contact negotiations since a 2015 agreement was preceded by a 131-day strike against FairPoint Communications, which was purchased last year by Illinois-based Consolidated.

The unions expressed resolve as an agreement remained elusive even though the two sides have been in negotiations since April, union officials said Wednesday.

“If we have to, we’re ready to do it again,” Don Trementozzi, president of CWA Local 1400 and co-chairman of the bargaining team, said of the threat of a strike.

The two unions together represent more than 1,000 workers across northern New England. The current contract expires Aug. 4. The company had no immediate comment.

The unions and the company are far apart on issues including outsourcing of work that would hurt workers and communities, said Peter McLaughlin, business manager of IBEW Local 2327 and co-chairman of the bargaining team.

The strike authorization votes occurred over the past 10 days as the unions’ bargaining committee traveled across the region to update members on the progress of negotiations.

The last strike in October 2014 came after North Carolina-based FairPoint froze pensions, imposed pay reductions on new workers, eliminated retiree health insurance and allowed the company to hire more outside workers. The agreement that ended the strike allowed employees to keep their defined benefit pension plans but there were concessions on company contributions, health care costs and other issues.

Consolidated ultimately bought FairPoint, doubling its fiber optic network and creating a company with operations in 24 states. The $1.3 billion transaction was completed last July.

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