ON THE HEELS OF PROPOSED WINDSTREAM AND EARTHLINK MERGER, SCHUMER MAKES CALL DIRECTLY TO WINDSTREAM CEO & URGES COMPANY TO PROTECT ROUGHLY 1,000 JOBS IN ROCHESTER AREA
Windstream Recently Announced It Is Seeking Fed Approvals To Acquire Earthlink; Together They Employ Roughly 1,000 People In Rochester Area
Schumer Says Preserving Rochester Jobs Is His Top Priority
Schumer: Windstream’s & Earthlink’s Rochester Workforce Is Vital For Success Of Merged Company; Rochester Should Remain Hub For New Company’s Future Growth
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called Windstream chief executive officer Tony Thomas following the news that Windstream has proposed merging and acquiring EarthLink. Windstream currently employs roughly 650 people at its Rochester, and EarthLink also employs a strong Rochester workforce of 350. Schumer said these roughly 1,000 jobs are critical to the Rochester area, and he therefore urged Thomas to keep all of these jobs in Rochester in light of this potential merger. In his call with Windstream’s CEO, Schumer highlighted the importance of both facilities and encouraged Mr. Thomas and the company to not only protect the jobs at those facilities, but also to continue to look for ways to grow the company in Rochester.
“I spoke directly with Windstream CEO Tony Thomas and urged him to protect these important jobs in Rochester. These jobs are vital to the local community and economy and the employees at Windstream and EarthLink were a key drivers in the companies’ development over the years, and should continue to remain a critical part of the company under any merger scenario,” said Senator Schumer. “The bottom line is that we must build on the success here in Monroe County and ensure a bright future for our local Rochester workers. And I think he heard me loud and clear.”
Schumer has long fought to secure jobs in the Rochester area while making sure companies like Windstream can deliver high-powered broadband and communication service to customers nationwide. In 2011, Schumer was instrumental in getting Windstream’s then-CEO Jeff Gardner to follow through on PaeTec’s plans (before the merger) to build its second location in downtown Rochester at the Midtown site. To help support Windstream’s workforce in Rochester, in 2013, Schumer also pushed to get the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow Connect America Funds (CAF) to be allocated to Windstream and other companies looking to add broadband in rural areas. In 2011, Windstream acquired Rochester’s PaeTec Communications.
The company now employs 650 workers across its two locations in Monroe County, and approximately 12,000 company-wide. In 2010, EarthLink acquired another Rochester telecommunication firm, Choice One Communications, and has one location in the City of Rochester with 350 employees, and 1,875 workers company-wide.