Employees, customers call out SOS: Save Our South Slope
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -
South Slope Cooperative Communications has been around eastern Iowa for more than 50 years. Today, the company helps provide telephone, TV, and internet services, mostly to rural areas of Linn and Johnson counties.
"One thing that we've been working towards is fiber in every single one of those areas so that the person at the farthest farm line or the person in town has the ability to have the exact same service," said Justyn Miller, South Slope CEO.
Many in the member-owned co-op fear new management is changing too much. Several employees are part of the Communications Workers of America Union and are unhappy with recent bargaining efforts.
"We no longer feel we can standby in silence," said Matt Holub, South Slope Employee and Union Bargaining Representative.
The company has proposed a new, two-tiered pay system for future employees, which will mean lower pay. Current employees worry that will hurt them if they change positions, but company managers say that's not true.
"That 30 percent reduction that they're talking about for current employees would take place only when someone decided to bid to a lower paying position," said Miller.
The standing-room only crowd was filled with South Slope customers, members of the co-op upset that they haven't heard when the next board meeting is, a meeting they should be invited to.
"We can and do expect better business practices in our community," said Kim Smith, South Slope Customer,
South Slope's CEO tells KWWL the next board meeting hasn't been set yet. When it is, notices will go out.
The union bargaining members are set to meet with company representatives on Monday. The last time the two sides met was in November.
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