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CenturyLink, Level 3 shareholders approve merger, but competitors’ protests remain

CenturyLink and Level 3’s shareholders “overwhelmingly” approved the two service providers’ pending merger, moving one step closer to completing a multibillion-dollar deal that will give the telco more muscle in the growing enterprise services space.

During a special meeting of CenturyLink's shareholders held on Thursday in Monroe, Louisiana, about 96.3% of the votes cast supported the proposal to issue CenturyLink common stock to Level 3 stockholders in connection with the proposed merger.

Likewise, more than 81.2% of Level 3's outstanding shares of common stock Level 3's stockholders in Broomfield, Colorado, and more than 98.8% of the votes cast, were voted in favor of approving the merger agreement.

RELATED: CenturyLink’s Level 3 acquisition gets thumbs-up from Ohio, Utah state regulators

"This expanded network should allow us to bring substantial operational and service benefits to our enterprise customers, as well as an enhanced customer experience,” said Glen Post, president and CEO of CenturyLink, in a release.

Besides gaining approvals from CenturyLink and Level 3 shareholders and previously announced state regulatory approvals and clearances in Ohio, Utah and Nevada, the companies also recently received approvals in Georgia and West Virginia and clearances in Connecticut, Indiana and Louisiana.

The acquisition will still need to clear a number of regulatory approvals, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the FCC and other state regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

CenturyLink and Level 3 expect to receive the remaining state, federal and international approvals in time to complete the merger by Sept. 30, 2017.

Upon closing the deal, Level 3 shareholders will receive $26.50 per share in cash and 1.43 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they own. CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51% and Level 3 shareholders will own approximately 49% of the combined company. The combined company will be headquartered in Monroe and will maintain a key operational presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.

While gaining these approvals is a positive sign that CenturyLink has cleared another key hurdle, the pending deal has faced protest from Frontier and Windstream, two service providers that say they are concerned about Level 3’s billing practices.

Frontier, which mainly serves rural areas, said in an FCC filing (PDF) that Level 3 has not been paying its network interconnection fees in a timely manner.  

Frontier contended that the "transaction will hurt rural broadband deployment and affordability both for its own customers and for other smaller providers who may not have the resources to actively comment in this proceeding.”

Likewise, Windstream said in a separate FCC filing (PDF) that it has found Level 3 has either been refusing to pay or delaying payment for millions of dollars in wholesale services.



Click HERE to go to the above CWA News Magazine
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PRINTER-FRIENDLY ISSUE PDF link














Your State Mobilization Coordinators recently attended two days of intensive training in Denver. Training topics included:

What is Mobilization
Why We Mobilize
How We Intend to Build and Maintain a Strong Mobilization Structure (that will support our bargaining team).

We must show the company that we demand a fair contract! 

The primary way to do this is to have each member educated on the process and engaged in mobilization activities.  Your state coordinators CANNOT achieve this alone.  They must have a dedicated person from each local to assist them so that we can reach EVERY member in our Bargaining Unit. 

Soon your state’s coordinator will reach out to you to see whom you have identified from your local.  State Coordinators will also be working with you to schedule training sessions for your local coordinators.  Please be thinking of someone who can fill the role of local coordinator in your local. 

PLEASE ENSURE THAT THE SELECTION OF A LOCAL COORDINATOR IS A PRIORITY! 

Please remind members…only 19 paydays remain until contract expiration.  They still have time to build a personal strike fund.  Click here to access a payday countdown for your local sites. 

Members may text 7standsup to 69866 to receive a link to sign up for bargaining and mobilization updates. 

Editors Note: I am told if you leave off your text phone number and just enter your email address you will only get email updates and not text messages.

Please click to go to SolidaritySeven on your Facebook page.  Like and share so that our members can see what activities are taking place.  Encourage your members and retirees to do the same.


 <>There’s a word for Trump’s latest flimflamming of workers

By gollies, The Donald delivers!

Trump and his new blue-ribbon panel of working-class champions have announced a bold initiative to create millions of American jobs. A spokesman for the panel, Steve Schwarzman, praised Trump as a leader who wants to “do things a lot better in our country, for all Americans.”

Wait a minute… Steve Schwarzman? Isn’t he a billionaire hedge-fund huckster on Wall Street? Yes – and Holy Money Bags! – there’s Jamie Dimon, head of scandal-ridden JPMorgan Chase. Working-class champions? Trump’s whole “jobs” panel is made up of Wall Street banksters and corporate powers like Walmart that’re notorious for laying-off and ripping-off workers.

Trump-the-candidate fulminated against such moneyed elites, calling them “responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class.” But now, in a spectacular flipflop, he’s brought these robbers directly inside his presidency, asking them to be architects of his economic strategy. Worse, he’s doing this in the name of helping workers.

Hello – to develop policies beneficial to working stiffs, bring in some working stiffs! But not a single labor advocate is on his policy council, in his cabinet, or anywhere near his White House.

Thus, the so-called “job-creation plan” announced by Trump and his corporate cohorts doesn’t create any jobs, but calls instead for – Ta Dah! – deregulating Wall Street. These flimflammers actually want us rubes to believe that “freeing” banksters to return to casino-style speculation and consumer scams will give them more money that they “can” invest in American jobs.

Do they think we have sucker wrappers around our heads? Trump’s scheme will let banks make a killing, but it doesn’t require them to invest in jobs – so they won’t. There’s a name for this: Fraud.

JIM HIGHTOWER

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