More than 1,700 workers strike against FairPoint in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont

Associated Press

More than 1,700 FairPoint Communications workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are on strike.

The decision came hours after a failed attempt by two unions to re-engage the company in negotiations. Peter McLaughlin from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers says the unions have offered "significant concessions" but that the company isn't interested.

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The strike at 12:01 a.m. Friday came just two days after the company froze workers' pensions.

The contract imposed by the company when it declared an impasse in late August also requires workers to contribute to health care costs for the first time.

North Carolina-based FairPoint bought Verizon's land-based holdings in northern New England in 2007 and filed for bankruptcy 18 months later. FairPoint emerged from bankruptcy in 2011 but has struggled to become profitable.