Date Posted

CWA Local 1298 petitions PURA to end unlawful interference with its union contract. 

Hamden, CT— Today, the Communications Workers of America Local 1298 filed a formal petition with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (“PURA”) to invalidate

the agency’s requirement that utility pole owners, including Southern New England Telephone Company d/b/a Frontier Communications of Connecticut (“Frontier”), use non-union, third-party contractors to work on damaged poles. PURA blocks CWA Local 1298 members from working on damaged poles in entire towns for months at a time, and instead grants third-party contractors exclusive rights to perform the work. PURA is thereby interfering with a collective bargaining agreement that commits Frontier – one of the largest pole owners in the state – to use CWA Local 1298 bargaining unit members, not contractors, to the greatest extent possible in traditional work. Connecticut law requires submission of a petition before a PURA decision may be litigated in court. 

“PURA’s requirement that Frontier use third-party contractors for work on damaged utility poles unlawfully infringes on the rights of CWA Local 1298 workers,” said

CWA Local 1298 President David E. Weidlich, Jr. “Our Union fought hard to win an agreement committing Frontier to employing Local 1298 workers for traditional utility work, and to prevent Frontier from undercutting our wages, benefits, and conditions

of employment through third-party contractors who provide no protections for their workers. For over 20 years, we ensured that Frontier abided by this agreement – until PURA unlawfully implemented its anti-union requirement to use contractors.” 

CWA Local 1298 members for decades have consistently performed work on damaged utility poles under its collective bargaining agreement with Frontier. For decades,

Union members have maintained Connecticut’s communications infrastructure after major storms, during emergencies, and through the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that Connecticut families remain connected even in times of crisis. In spite of this, starting in 2021 PURA issued a series of decisions to mandate the use of non-union third-party contractors for work on damaged utility poles, jeopardizing the stability of union jobs in Connecticut.

CWA Local 1298 President Dave E. Weidlich Jr. added, “PURA has sabotaged CWA Local 1298’s contract and our ability to preserve work for our union brothers and sisters. Local 1298 cannot negotiate with PURA. We cannot strike PURA. The law requires that PURA stay out of our bargaining process and lift its mandate that Frontier use contractors for traditional union work. The preservation of quality jobs for Connecticut utility workers depends on it.”

Megan Handau, a Connecticut native and law student intern in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School, which represents CWA Local 1298 in its petition, stated, “PURA’s requirement that Frontier use contractors for work on damaged utility poles is unlawful. PURA has no authority under Connecticut law to interfere with CWA Local 1298’s collective bargaining agreement and it is prohibited from adopting this mandate under long-established federal labor law. PURA’s intrusion into the collective bargaining process threatens CWA Local 1298’s ability to preserve stable, high-paying union jobs for its members. PURA must recognize its error and terminate its contractor requirement.”  

You can find a copy of CWA Local 1298’s petition to PURA by clicking here.  


Communications Workers of America Local 1298 is a labor union representing over 1,400 Frontier utility workers in Connecticut. The Union joined CWA in 1998 after a long history as an independent union, and has collectively bargained with Frontier Communications, and its predecessor, Southern New England Telephone Company, for decades.  

The Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, a part of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, represents immigrants, low-wage workers,

and their organizations in labor, immigration, criminal justice, civil rights, and other matters.