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Costly communications

Union reps: Frontier Cd'A call center closing so cheaper workers can be hired in South Carolina

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Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Union representatives said this week that the more than 100 employees at the Frontier Communications Corp. call center in Coeur d'Alene are losing their jobs so the company can turn around and hire cheaper labor in South Carolina.

In May, the Stamford, Conn.-based telecommunications company announced plans to open a call center in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and hire more than 100 people. The Coeur d'Alene center is to close Sept. 18.

Dave Moore, local president of the Communication Workers of America, said union representatives in Myrtle Beach have reported to him that new hires there will receive $11 per hour while training. Following training they'll be paid $12 per hour, with a five-year wage freeze, Moore said.

The Myrtle Beach call center workers will be handling customer service calls, sales, and internal communications support for the company, he said.

The Coeur d'Alene center's workers have been providing internal communications support for the company, and don't make sales calls or provide customer service, said April Legard, who works at the center and is the employees' union representative.

At the Coeur d'Alene center, the pay ranges from $15 to $21 per hour, she said. The average age of workers is 55.

"Those are family wage jobs," Moore said. "You could own a home and support a family on that income."

A person can't do that on an $11- or $12-per-hour wage, he said. The Myrtle Beach employees also could earn commission on sales.

In Coeur d'Alene, new hires start at $14 per hour, and move up to $15 per hour after a year, and are paid more depending on education and experience.

Steven Crosby, senior vice president for Frontier, said the wage numbers cited by Moore and Legard sounded accurate.

"We're in a very, very, very competitive industry," he said. "This is a decision that's a delicate balance."

He said Frontier must do what's best for customers and shareholders, while being cost efficient to compete well with others in the telecommunications industry, and take care of employees.

"There's a lot of parts to this," he said. "It was a gut-wrenching decision."

The company in February reduced its annual dividend to shareholders to 40 cents annually from 75 cents, he said.

"We are continuing our effort to transform our company from a traditional phone company to a broadband company," he said.

The company has made significant capital expenditures expanding broadband and replacing aging infrastructure, he said.

Legard said many of the employees at the Coeur d'Alene call center are disappointed to see the company turn its back on them, particularly after employees there completed a conversion from a Verizon Wireless operating system to a Frontier system and saved the company $84 million.

The call center, at 7400 Mineral Drive, was operated by GTE Corp. and Verizon prior to Frontier's control. Frontier has leased the space.

Legard said the only "thank you" employees received for their work on the system conversion was a pink slip and a cheap, plastic travel mug.

Still, she said, they plan to remain loyal until the end, doing everything they can for the company.

"We feel like we're going to walk out of there with our heads held high," she said.

She has been working at the center for more than a dozen years, starting with GTE. Like her, she said, her coworkers have a lot of valuable skills and experience.

"We have stepped up every time they've asked," she said of Frontier. "I think they are looking very short term."

Moore added, "We'd like to see the company change its mind."

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  • xgtevzfyr posted at 7:51 pm on Thu, Aug 16, 2012.

    xgtevzfyr Posts: 12

    WorriedinWV, thank you for your kind words. I pray that this does not happen there too. Honestly, in the end I believe it will, as Frontier can not afford the experienced worker that has stayed all these years. Sadly, they can't afford not to have us either but are making huge mistakes daily. They are going down fast. We see and hear more than the public could ever imagine, and its all bad. Good luck to you and all our WV friends. Never give up.

  • WorriedinWV posted at 8:32 am on Thu, Aug 16, 2012.

    WorriedinWV Posts: 1

    I work for Frontier/Formerly Verizon in WV & I just wanted to say, we feel really bad for you Couer d' Alene employees that have been let go & I also admit...we fear we may be facing e the same fate in 2013 when OUR contract with Frontier is up. For all who do not understand this...Many of us have been pouring our life's blood into our jobs in the same building since it was Bell Atlantic. We have worked our way up from the bottom to finally have the salary levels & benefits we now have and it has taken MANY, MANY years. We have gone through times of change, learning difficult new procedures & computer programs with many hours of training and re-training and regrouping ...all in order to try to do the same good job we always strive to do. We have highly valued our jobs...and we care about the job we do for our customers ...often neglecting our families for long periods of time...working mandatory overtime to do what we have to order to help our families & extended families who are not union and who do not make the money we have been fortunate enough to work our way to having. And, many of us have worked other jobs and we understand...and we notoriously tip our waitresses & other service people very well & we care about putting the money we make back into our communities...our local stores, our churches, schools etc. We volunteer more than any company I have ever known. We try to make a difference. We have children & grandchildren & other extended family members that have committed help with their bills, with college every way we can. But now, with monetary commitments that equal our salaries...we must fear, many of us in our later years (but not late enough to retire) that we will possibly lose these jobs next year and not be able to continue to pay college tuitions or our mortgages & rent or continue to help our families with their mortgages & rent & things we have helped with...(just like our former fellow employees in Couer d' Alene did too I am sure) . So not only will those people suffer...(and us if we have the same fate) but both our families & our communities will suffer. Maggie came to town here too & we thought we had a good partnership going & we worked long & hard to make the conversion as smooth as possible...but we face the possibility of the same fate as you have there in Idaho...and we feel very bad for you. Also, one of the articles said you were getting this severence & benefits pkg. What the public doesn't know is that the severence will not be enough hardly any time at all & the benefits pkg is totally well as temporary. Frontier simply turned it's back Couer d' Alene's skilled, loyal workers...who are just like us.. We care about our jobs. We've given so many hours out of our lives and taken pride in our work & tried to do the best job for our company & our customers...and we put our hearts & souls & faith in our company...(from Bell Atlantic to Verizon (landline-not wireless) and finally Frontier. And I am sure the Couer d' Alene employees felt the same way. But ...once the contract Frontier 'HAD' TO HONOR was up...the cord was immediately severed & the employees just thrown to the wolves in Couer d' Alene. When Frontier took over, they needed us (all) to stay...and they told us we were a partnership & a work family..but now...the minute they were able to...they cut the loyal employees (who made the transition possible) right off at the knees. Some say they planned it all along... But, If the company just now figured out they can't afford us, why did they not offer a transition of lowering wages and changing benefits a little at a time...or something that loyal employees would have time to take care of things in their life & make gradual changes...or anything....not just letting them go? Couer d' Alene, our hearts & our prayers are with you and as you can imagine...we are WorriedinWV.

  • Peter posted at 6:34 am on Thu, Aug 16, 2012.

    Peter Posts: 679

    Jo jo jo mo jo aka spudman. I liked it when you used to call yourself spudman, btw. You are still so full of assumptions are ya? Such contempt in your tone. Relax man, I only pointed out a matter of fact of the situation. Keep voting your way spudman. You/Idaho will continue to get what y'all already have.

  • taxpayer posted at 12:23 pm on Wed, Aug 15, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    doing whats best for the shareholders, stock dropped in half since they bought the business from frontier, your would think they could figure it out that what they are doing isnt working, the way they do business has to change if they want do what best for the shareholders

  • kBled posted at 3:08 pm on Tue, Aug 14, 2012.

    kBled Posts: 70

    Frontier could possibly not care less about your pittance of a salary, Coeur d'Alene's economy, or people being out of work. There is one all-encompassing responsibility for a publicly traded company: generate profit for the shareholders. This action is an attempt to cut costs, and that is what is to be expected. Any suffering as a result is so irrelevant its mention is ludicrous.

    Enjoy the now 100 people entering the job market with 10+ years of experience and college degrees. And the couple million in reduced revenue for the city/state.

    "It was a gut-wrenching decision."


  • my own opinion posted at 3:52 pm on Mon, Aug 13, 2012.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    "get er done".
    And your point Pathfinder?
    Perfect English....

  • Mark on the Park posted at 1:03 pm on Mon, Aug 13, 2012.

    Mark on the Park Posts: 471

    And yet, at the end of the day you knew that this could happen and that they had a right to do it, just as any of the workers there had a right to quit for any reason - like to relocate somewhere else.

  • pathfinder posted at 7:33 pm on Sun, Aug 12, 2012.

    pathfinder Posts: 2

    I may not be a college graduate, but have any of you people re-read anything you have written. Most of it does not make sense, is grammatically incorrect, and has horrible spelling. I hope you are self employed, since apparently you couldn't pass any kind of a test for a large employer.

  • my own opinion posted at 4:25 pm on Sun, Aug 12, 2012.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    Newby, stay quiet you write to much.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 6:20 am on Sun, Aug 12, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Peter thinks that government is what makes jobs; hence his blaming Idaho government for chasing out companies, while he CONVENIENTLY forgets that unions play any role...the unions are the PRIMARY reason they left; get it right.
    Like any liberal, just like in Detroit, the jobs left, and the lib/dems blamed the companys instead of the unions & workers.

    WE LIKE who we vote into office here, Peter. The "liveable wage" issue is an inventionmade up by dimmos who support unions because the unions bring them VOTES. Businesses pay people more for better & harder workers, has nothign to do with "liveable wages".

    Personally, the American work force today is SO BAD that I won't hire anybody, and I need to. I've HAD IT with people that don't show up; steal, lie, are on drugs, or are just plain lazy. Ask any employer, they'll all tell you the same thing. Folks like Peter, though, they'll tell you that it's "government's fault", as long as the government is Conservative. As soon as it turns liberal, then it's no longer the "government's fault", just like boobama can do no wrong.

  • Peter posted at 9:49 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    Peter Posts: 679

    Frontiers closing is not soley because of its union. It is due to the companies obligation to "...must do what's best for customers and shareholders". (enough said). Idaho is a "right to work" state and could easily replace the same people if they wanted to. I find it incredibly ironic that for all the "business friendly" conservative policies that the ID govt taughts they have an extremely difficult time maintaining any kind of livable wage industry here. Night Hawk paid their employees above Idaho wages too and they packed up and left. They were non-union. The fact of the matter is that ID govt is inept at attracting and maintaining businesses that pay a livable wage with a decent benefit plan. Yet, the people of Idaho continually votes in the most incompetent people to Boise and DC over and over and over and over and over and over..As long as the people of Idaho continually vote in the people who maintain the status quo they will continually get the same outcome.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 7:52 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    All of the union families in Detroit spit out the same lame arguments you that are (for) the unions are now; of COURSE none of them actually looked to see how America herself started driving Toyotas & Hondas. Neither are "Union" companies, but they still put out a kinda....GREAT product...ABC News reports:

    Detroit may be in the doldrums, but Greensburg, Ind., is celebrating its shiny new auto plant.

    Honda Motor Co. opened a new factory in the town of 12,000 in October, bringing jobs and hope.

    Honda CEO Takeo Fukui flew in from Tokyo for the plant’s dedication ceremony Monday, eager to take advantage of the trouble American automakers are in.

    “At Honda, we always understand that challenging times … represent opportunity,” Fukui said.

    Honda’s new plant in Greensburg represents the “other” American auto industry — the U.S. plants owned by foreign carmakers. Unlike the American “big three” automakers — GM, Ford and Chrysler — the foreign-owned companies are not looking for bailouts. Instead, they are expanding to places like Greensburg.

    “This is an American-made automobile. Hoosiers make it,” said Adam Huening, news editor of the Greensburg Daily News. More than 900 nonunion employees were hired to work in the plant and expect to turn out 200,000 Honda Civics per year, including some powered by natural gas. The plant, which costs $550 million, will likely grow to employ 2,000 workers.

    Unlike the American big three, Japanese automakers are not saddled with enormous costs for retirees. Their younger, mostly nonunion American workers get paid far less.

    At Honda, workers receive about $44 an hour, including benefits, while GM employees receive $73.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 7:47 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    TYPICAL that the Unions have run another company out, only this time in Idaho.

    Being that this is all new to most of you; let me explain what actually HAPPENED.
    See, unlike what you all think, the "greed" part extends down to EVERY customer Frontier, and every company in America has. That's right, it includes YOU. It's YOUR fault.

    Because we ALL want it cheaper. That's everything we buy, every person we use for services, all of it.
    In a bad economy, especially, customers demand MORE services for LESS money.
    And you'll all CHEER for that, too. Cuz you do it EVERY DAY.

    And all of that's FINE, right up until it affects someone you know.
    See; I watched as Americans switched cars, from GM & Ford to Nissan & Toyota. They all did it gleefully, mindless, not caring ONE iota about the jobs it lost in Detroit, always justifying the ideal of "more for less" and calling it "the American way". Thats' Liberals & Conservatives, all of you.
    And they were CORRECT, too.
    American cars were built with nowhere near the quality of Japanese, and the workers cost substantially more per hour, with benefits, pay, and especially pensions.

    So; you got more for your money.
    And how'd this come to pass?
    By having UNIONS "represent" workers so that they could get "living wages", which is an oxymoron.
    Companies pay wages based on supply & demand, period. They have NEVER changed, it's always been the same. Unions corrupt the cycle, paying workers that are WORTH less money TOO MUCH money for the job that is accomplished. Then, this bloated wage gets passed on to the customer, who won;t pay for the service or product, because it's TOO EXPENSIVE, and the company goes out of business, or changes it's operation into something that actually pays REALISTIC wages for the services performed.

    America, you all got it cheaper. Unions, they stole a BUNCH of your money, promised you all panacea, and delivered you layoff slips.

  • my own opinion posted at 6:54 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    That should bail them out of all the problems and backlog they bought from Verizon. Take the money and run I guess that is what they are doing. To bad all the area customers could not do that, take the money and run to another provider.... that is they could if they wanted to I guess?

  • taxpayer posted at 4:06 pm on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    Reading Yahoo Finance, Frontier recently received $71.9 million million from the Federal Communications Commission’s

  • my own opinion posted at 11:12 am on Sat, Aug 11, 2012.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    The 2 companies are one in the same, they just changed the name but continue on the same destructive path of business. Their service is not worth a darn to the people of this area. I am very sorry for all the local hard workers who have their hands tied to work to the last day for these scums! Yes, to break the union is what they just might be after. I worked for a union and had to pay dues and the union was controlled by the employer how shady is that? we did not get the kind of wage you guys at Frontier get/got. I work for a "shop" that has no union and the pay is very very low and they have benefits but you only get a "discount" if you sign off your H.i.p.p.a. rights for your employer to read into when they feel like it (for selection). keep working till you die then you will rest. My home is just here to sleep in when I die it will be cleared out for the next working soul to pay for all over again the same place bought and paid for over and over......THIS IS ONLY AN OPINION NOT FIRING WORDS.

  • xgtevzfyr posted at 10:25 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    xgtevzfyr Posts: 12

    Yes it is just Coprorate America and that's the way it is, because you allow it to be. We did see it coming, we've met their new VP. What would you have us do? Quit? The work we do has been moved to multiple call centers, all on the East coast and the new call center, also on the East coast, will take theirs. But they held a press conference when they came here to let you know they would give back to this community? It is not apples and oranges. It is our lives. You can bash unions, probably because you've never been a member of one and no nothing of them. You can think "they make to much anyway", even though, as I said, we stayed years to get to that wage. We, the employees of this center, are part of this community. We support your businesses, our kids go to your daycares, we eat at your restaurants, we help when it is needed, we give back!. We are Coeur d' Alene and we are proud. Of where we live and of what we do. Even when it is not appreciated, by some of you or by the company.
    Frontier just received millions from the federal government paid by our taxes, but they can't afford to keep open the center in your town and keep those 100 families gainfully employed. We will not be helping to pay quite as much of that back now. But you can.
    Thank you to those who can see the real picture here. It is not lost in all the ingnorant, small minded, and some... outright ridiculous comments here. Your support and comments are appreciated. The rest of you... aren't worth anymore words.

  • soon2Bfootlooseandfancyfree posted at 9:23 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    soon2Bfootlooseandfancyfree Posts: 3

    no, they are taking our jobs and we spend our days now fixing the messes they are making of your phone service with their lack of experience and poor training!

  • pathfinder posted at 8:55 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    pathfinder Posts: 2

    Seems like alot of you think this is a Wall Street problem. Wall Street does not like companies that have a self destructive business plan. If they did, the USPS would be their best customer. Frontier Communications has the highest debt of any communications network. Their stock prices have dropped more than 50% in the last 2 years. They have cut their dividends over 50% because of their management practices. They have lost money over the last 6 quarters. They bought a business that was failing in the first place, which shows a lack of intelligence on the management part. If you invest in stocks, you look for good dividends and high growth potential. The dividend for Frontier was too high in the first place, and the growth potential is zero. The fact that they are closing the center in CDA and putting highly experienced people out of work, when they own a building in CDA that they could have moved into, and saved $60,000 a month, shows a lack of intelligence on managements part. But they did send some of their executives to Italy for training on an identity protection product. Just remember for those of you that still have landlines, when you hire cheap labor, you get what you pay for. As a sidebar, I didn't think they would make it this long in CDA. Previous history of telecom companies that have purchased Verizon properties have gone bankrupt within 3 years. The employees of the CDA center have bent over backwards to serve Frontier customers, when other centers wouldn't or couldn't. The CDA center has always been the one to "get er done". They have been called on many times to "bail" out other centers when they were so far behind in taking care of Verizon/Frontier customers. Frontier has a rude awakening coming when they can no longer call on the CDA center to help. The people that work at the CDA center have made sacrifices, to their lives and their families, to make sure the job gets done. They are so much more than a call center, sitting on their keister drawing $20 hr, than you can even imagine. Unless you have been there, you have no right to throw stones.

  • taxpayer posted at 7:59 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    The mentality of todays wall street companies is a far cry from what Henry Ford did for his workers, he paid almost double what his competition did to more productive, loyal and statisfied workers

  • haydentaxpayer posted at 7:26 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    haydentaxpayer Posts: 18

    Did I read correctly that the jobs lost in Idaho and the jobs created back east, are not the same positions?? Can't compare apples to oranges, right?

  • haydentaxpayer posted at 7:05 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    haydentaxpayer Posts: 18

    The point of the article is what? To highlight another example of unions not being beneficial for their members? I find it ironic that unions have become almost exactly what they were created to overcome. The only unions that are "successful" these days are the ones that require the monopoly of the govt to maintain their power.

  • Haydenresident posted at 6:32 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Haydenresident Posts: 14

    Frontier Communications is taking the work away from people that are committed to their customers and have an excellent work ethic. The people at this center (it's called a call center, but it's really not) have dedicated the last 15 years to make the center successful, starting with GTE, Verizon and now Frontier. I've worked for large corporations for most of my career and I can honestly say, It's the UNION, CWA LOCAL 7670 that has given the workers the benefits and wage that is comensurate with the job. This center closing will impact the community in a largely negative way. Frontier Communications has LOST THIS CUSTOMER!!

  • taxpayer posted at 2:47 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    Frontier is prime example of why the taxpayer does not trust Wall Street

  • hairman posted at 2:03 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    hairman Posts: 1

    It doesn't look like Frontier is waiting for the final paycheck to dry. There are already non-union constractors from Montana in Clark Fork already taking jobs away from those people.

    They have booth set-up and trying to sell high dollar plans.

  • philisg posted at 1:36 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    philisg Posts: 1

    May I say, I am currently in the CdA Office awaiting my "displacement" from work. Our center has ALWAYS been known as "the best in the West"... and since we became Frontier, that has continued to be the case.. we are the "go to" associates to GET THE JOB DONE. We don't hurry through a problem and often buck the rules (taking the time to serve our customer and get the job done for them if they were not helped previously, instead of watching our "time" spent on the customer). We follow the most important Core Values: •Do it right the first time and •Put the customer first.
    Throughout our 14 year history as an order writing, billing and sales call center we have developed an extensive understanding of providing exceptional customer service. The Coeur d’Alene center has worked with government, large business and residential customers. During our lengthy tenure our center has been restructured on multiple occasions. We successfully converted our daily task functions to support new systems and expanding company needs. Our employees have risen to the challenge and exceeded expectations during all transitions.
    Roles and Responsibilities:
    •Provide superior product and service information to current and prospective customers.
    •Build strong customer relationships through quality selling and service by interacting with
    internal and external customers in a professional manner.
    •Receive high volume of inbound calls from external customers and internal departments inquiring on service, billing, collections, repair, and other telecommunications concerns or problems.
    •Perform outbound telemarketing calls.
    •Respond to customer voice and web mail messages and take appropriate action.
    •Use technology to efficiently troubleshoot customer problems and help resolve their concerns.
    •Process sales orders for services, products or features purchased by customers.
    •Process fallout tasks including ordering and billing errors, and processing non-sales tasks including online system support and payment processing.
    •Provide support for special projects including system conversion fallout and clean up.
    •Handle Customer escalations as well as Executive, Public Utility Commission (PUC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Attorney General Complaints.
    •Exceptional interpersonal and customer relations skills, patience, tact and the ability to handle difficult customer situations.
    •Proven ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment and a sense of urgency for completing tasks.
    •Strong analytical skills including the ability to review current method and procedures to quickly identify and close process gaps.
    •Ability to make independent decisions, self-starters and team players.
    •Strong oral and written communication skills and excellent follow-up skills.
    •Computer proficiency with emphasis in Windows based applications, typing and keyboard skills (25 wpm minimum), and basic math skills.
    •Work directly with staff support to improve methods and procedures and make recommendation for manual and automated work process enhancements.
    •Mentor new consultants.
    •Exceed established Call Center performance standards, sales and service objectives.
    •Perform all other duties/assignments as required by Supervisor/Manager.
    AND LAST (BUT NOT LEAST), WHEN WE BECAME FRONTIER EMPLOYEES: As the primary Offline Center support for a nine state system conversion we were integral to the success of one of the largest billing and order system migrations in telecommunication history. (AND WE ACHIEVED THIS IN RECORD TIME, THE COMPANY WAS VERY VERY IMPRESSED WITH OUR DILIGENCE, EXPERTISE AND SPEED IN WHICH WE MADE THEM LOOK GOOD)

  • Licktysplit posted at 1:18 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Licktysplit Posts: 4

    I think we are all forgetting the bottom line here. This layoff of 100+ workers affects so much more that the weather or not they are union or non-union workers. This affects the local business economy, the charities that these employees help with their wages, and most of all the CURRENT and FUTURE customers of Frontier.
    Some of the charities the employees have helped though the 14 years:
    Wishing Star Phones for Abused Women
    Ladies Shelters Book Mobile
    Men’s Shelters School Supplies for Low Income
    Rathdrum Food Bank Just to name a few there are many more.
    Tree of Sharing
    Toys for Tots
    Kootenai Humane Society

    I do feel that this was a move on Frontier’s part to bust the union as well as paying less for the work being done. Which again we know is the corporation way. Frontier states on all of their hold messages, “FRONTIER IS 100% AMERICAN BASED” which they are but they want to pay INDIA wages. (INDIA makes more that Frontier South Carolina employees now). WELCOME TO THE NEW FRONTIER.

  • Sheeken Hunter posted at 12:26 pm on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Sheeken Hunter Posts: 183

    All of the terminated employees and their families will now have more time to go ice skating at the Frontier Ice Arena. They will all no doubt appreciate the $175,000.00 contribution Frontier made to the non-profit (e.g. tax deductible contribution).

  • soon2Bfootlooseandfancyfree posted at 11:18 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    soon2Bfootlooseandfancyfree Posts: 3

    Sitting on my Keester? No Bachelors? Overcompensated? Wow. Over 14 years I have worked like a dog for 3 different companies. I have gained an in-depth knowledge of the telecommunications field from taking an order to the provisionising aspects of simple-to-extremely-complex services both for residence and large business. When things break down I know how to get things moving and get things fixed. I have worked closely with U of Idaho, State of Washington, Starbucks ... just to name a few. I work on over 50 computer systems ... learned different systems for every company that has come through this building. I can wade through and understand the THOUSANDS of documents needed to work this job. But I will tell you what may be my most transferable skill ... speaking on the phone to whiney morons like Jeffrey or voxpop, listening to their inconsequential complaining and handling them with grace, skill and style to keep them as customers for this company who does not value me at all.

  • Why Not posted at 10:53 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 5020

    Steven Crosby is a corporate PIG - "but we have a responsibility to our shareholders". Yeah those investment funds and investors who demand that publically traded companies meet or beat the street every stinking quarter. Well Steven Crosby, thanks for enlightening us about what's really important. Avista tries the same stuff but at least we can go and argue at the PUC. Ever wonder why Microsoft stock doesn't move much? If you haven't figured it out, unlike this miserable nickel and dime operation, they value their employees "experience and dedication."

    It's unfathomable that they would trade experience for such a minimal impact to the bottom line.

  • RadicalMiddle posted at 10:23 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    RadicalMiddle Posts: 15

    I congratulate those dissenters who are fortunate enough to have a job that rewards them with a livable wage and insurance for their families. Here at Frontier in CDA we are in the process of losing careers that most of us have spent over a decade building. The center here in CDA is not a call center; we work offline functions that involve a highly technical skill set. A good percentage of us do have college degrees, and all of us have gone through extensive training.
    Concerning the Local CWA; you may be against unions because you are well off and do not work, or you are lucky enough to work for a company that takes care of their employees in an ethical way (there are a few of these businesses). Most companies are heartless- thus the phrase, “it’s not personal, it’s just business.” In this case business is very, very personal for our community. Consider this; some unions may seem corrupt or greedy, but our local union has worked diligently with Frontier to develop solutions that worked for the company. Most of us Union members are also shareholders in this company- we wanted to see Frontier do well.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 10:08 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Frontier not Pioneer

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 10:07 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    You would be amazed at "they language" we would understand, even yours.

    When Pioneer took over the call center, You people spewed the Guarantees you were given, I laughed then and still laughing at your high level of comprehension. Just proves your book smarts is a determent to your ability to function in the real world. No level of education or Union Contract is superior to Commonsense, Experience and the use of History in foresight. If you didn't see this coming long ago and prepare for it, you're just dumb.

    "paid more depending on education" ROFL Yep, that's all Unions have left to offer, CB's to pay for all those Bachelors of Arts degrees that are wasting on Walls of the Cultural Elitists. The Sweat shops and company stores are long into history, and the laws are long into place to keep them in history. Unions have out lived their usefulness.

  • taxpayer posted at 9:23 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    Frontier Values from their own web site
    • Put the customer first, DOESNT HAPPEN
    • Treat one another with respect, ONLY WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT
    • Keep our commitments; DOESNT HAPPEN
    Be accountable, DOESNT HAPPEN
    • Be ethical in all of our dealings, DOESNT HAPPEN, WE SLAM OUR OWN CUSTOMER
    • Be active in our communities, EMPLOYEES ARE THERE FOR YOU
    • Use resources wisely, DOESNT HAPPEN

  • JustMyOpinion67 posted at 8:55 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    JustMyOpinion67 Posts: 43

    Once again the determining factor is the bottom line. Forget how the corporate decision will effect the employees or the communities they live in. The middle class exists because of unions. Without them there would be no middle class, and very few human and civil rights.

    With an average age of the workers at 55 with roughly 12-30 years of experience, one could call this age discrimination. This is just a convenient way to get rid of those expensive, i.e. experienced, workers and bring in some hungry youngsters who are willing to work for pennies on the dollar. That is until they have gained enough experience to ask for a raise or just move on to another job.

    The bigger problem is that we have developed into a nation that is only looking out for ourselves. There is no loyalty on the part of either the employer or employee. Just be sure that you while you are looking out for number one that you don't step in a pile of number two.

  • Licktysplit posted at 8:47 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Licktysplit Posts: 4

    Something else these employees do. They are the local office here in CDA, they have helped over 20 walkin customers a month (even though it is not their primary job task) most of the walkins have been on the phone for sometimes hours and not one person could help them, yet they get one of the CDA reps and in most case the problem is solved in 24 hrs. This office is an office that 'HELPS" the customer no matter what the problem. My friend tells me everyday that she speaks to customers that have tried to get help for hours, days and months to get help, they are all but ready "TO LEAVE FRONTIER" and they find their way to that office and someone takes the time to listen to them and then "SOLVES" their problem...

  • unionemployee posted at 8:35 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    unionemployee Posts: 2

    You don’t like Union, liveable, wages? Do you think our communities can survive with everybody earning minimum wage? That’s why the Dirne Clinic has such a backlog. So many people with low wages and no health insurance, living off assistance from the government. We might sit at a computer, with a headset, but we are taking care of our customer’s phone and internet needs. We have access to personal and proprietary information, credit cards and bank accounts. That information really should not be trusted to just the average, high school dropout, employee off the street. Customers count on us to have a dial tone when they pick up their phone. It’s a lifeline for so many. The jobs in Florida and South Carolina have a steady turnover of employees. Here in Coeur d’Alene, we don’t have turnover, most of us have been here 13-14 years, some longer. We do appreciate our Union wages and company benefits. We live in the community, we spend our wages here. Well, we won’t be any longer.

  • Soontobeunemployed posted at 8:28 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Soontobeunemployed Posts: 1

    This article mentions that the average age of the employees in the Coeur d'Alene center is 55 years old. Hum . . . I wonder what the average age of the employees are in Myrtle Beach?

    Also the employees in this center have VERY GENEROUSLY supported dozens of charities throughout our 14+ years. Unemployment is a community issue as much as it is an individual one.

  • Licktysplit posted at 8:20 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Licktysplit Posts: 4

    Most of BIG business still lives in the Gordon Geko time. "GREED IS GOOD" All of the people I know from Frontier are Very proud of the jobs they do and feel good about themselves because they do a good job. I was once a " CALL CENTER" person and trust me no one calls to say "what a great job you and the co are doing" . These people exbit caring and concern for the Frontier customers each and everyday. THEY DO DESERVE BETTER THAN WHAT THEY GOT" so do Frontier customer and Local Business..

  • xgtevzfyr posted at 8:02 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    xgtevzfyr Posts: 12

    local res, yes there are many people with BA's that work in call centers, and many who wait tables because they need to make a living. There is nothing wrong with doing what you have to do to survive, even if it is below 'your' standards. Have you heard, there aren't many jobs out there. You think because they call it a call center we just take calls. When I was a waitress,I waited on people that insulted my job choice as well with the 'just a wiatress' attitude. I am amazed that's what you got out of my comment.

    By the way I am not a Union Leader. I am a Proud member of CWA Local 7670 and proud of any job I have ever done because I have worked with no assistance to survive.

  • Rationale posted at 7:38 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1976


    Right to work means you can work for a union wage at a union job and not join the union!

  • mister d posted at 7:37 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    xgtevzfyr - you are 100% correct although many of the sour people in Idaho do not recognize it because they are either business owners or conditioned to accept the extremely poor wages Idaho pays. There is nothing wrong with wanting a liveable wage and having enough money to support your family and have extra income to actually go on the town and support other businesses besides grocery stores. Frontier made a business decision, it's all about the money baby - they don't care about the worker. Do you think the upper management lives in poverty.

  • Rationale posted at 7:37 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1976

    Local res,

    Would you rather them stay at home and collect unemployment? At least they are working.

  • Licktysplit posted at 7:35 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Licktysplit Posts: 4

    The bigger picture here is the HIT the local business will take. The wages that are made by these workers are pumped back into the local CDA revnue. So you see that the closing of this center has a LARGE down hill effect. Frontier prides itself on Commuinty Involement, this should really help the CDA, HAYDEN, POST FALLS and all surrounding communities. Way to go FRONTIER maybe you should have thought about YOUR Community before you FIRED these 100 + people

  • local res posted at 7:15 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    Working with a bachelors degree in a call center? REALLY?

  • taxpayer posted at 7:14 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    taxpayer Posts: 343

    some of our work is going to Deland Florida, during our training, the person training us said about the deland center, 67% of the employees in the Deland center are high school dropouts, is that what you want talking care of your personel private information?

  • local res posted at 7:14 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    Xgtevzfyr = union leader. What he fails to mention is that the company use to be called Verizon. Verizon sold the business because it was not making money. Xgtevzfyr you for get freedom of choice. Employer choice another route when you priced the labor you sold too high. You do the same thing when you shop at the grocery store. Lastly is a person with a bachelors degree is working for $8.00 per hour this is a result of choice once again. The person who has the bachelors degree either chose a worthless unmarketable degree or they chose to work in the job and not search for other employment.

  • xgtevzfyr posted at 6:59 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    xgtevzfyr Posts: 12

    Really voxpop & Jeff, you want your children working for the minimum wage this state pays? Unions do not out price themselves. They make sure employees are paid a wage they can live on and get benifits that they can take their kids to doctors and dentists with out having to worry about how they're going to pay the bill. Without having to use state and federal entitlement programs.
    Most people in our center have worked there for 12 to 30 years, we started at a lower wage and have stayed to reach a decent wage. We do not just sit and wear a headset. We have done work you wouldn't even understand they language if I listed it. We have worked mandatory overtime to make this companies aquisition successful. We are higher trained then any of their other call centers. We EARNED that wage. We were told by the CEO Maggie Wilderotter, that they would make us part of the family. Our dedication and hard work got us a plastice cup and unemployment.
    My father was a Union Worker, as was my Grandfather. Unions are what built a decent place for most americans to work in. Without them we would still be in sweat shops taking employers abuse with low pay and no benefits. We are what made the change in American laws.
    You can thank the Unions for making this countries work force strong! As for me I pray that the children of this country get Union Jobs and make a good living. Being paid $8.00 an hour after getting a bachelors degree is NOT acceptable.
    But thank you for your uneducated comments. It really just explains how this state became a right to work state.

  • pubcrawler posted at 6:39 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    pubcrawler Posts: 83

    It sounds like a bunch of those workers have been there for more than a decade. What's the beef with people making a living wage? There's a reason that Idaho lurks right at the bottom, right along with Mississppi and Alabama, on most economic and educational indicators, including being 7th worst in the nation in job creation...

  • voxpop posted at 4:56 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    Well, gosh. Another case where unions have priced themselves out of the market. Go figure. But then I'd be upset too if I was losing my $20/hr job answering a phone. Nothing against unions per se but there needs to be an underlying skill to back up demands. Sitting on your keister with a headset in your ear isn't one.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 4:49 am on Fri, Aug 10, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Wow, workers willing to do more for less! I would move my company there too. I'm sure they tried to talk to the Union and get concessions, but that's not part of this story.

    I hear Rugger is Hiring for a new gun they have developed, It's called 'The Union Workers', It doesn't work and you can't fire it.

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