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Fairpoint Poised for Growth- After Strike

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A strike by FairPoint Communications workers will likely hurt business in the short term, as large customers shy away from new or upgraded service. But an analyst says the company is poised to grow if it can resolve its labor issue.

    Drexel Hamilton analyst Barry Sine says FairPoint has made significant investments in its fiber network and that it's poised for growth if it can get  "labor peace.''

    More than 1,700 FairPoint workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont walked off their jobs early Friday.

    Neither the company nor two unions have been able to find middle ground on key issues: A company-imposed contract freezes pensions, makes workers contribute to health care costs, allows the hiring of contract workers, and eliminates retiree health care for current employees.