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Spectrum Strike Gets a Big Boost

Thousands gather and join the cause as elected officials reaffirm their support and boycott NY1.

Kris LaGrange's picture
Dec 05, 2018
The ranks of labor along with elected officials from across New York descended on East 23rd Street in the Big Apple this afternoon to join in the protest and recommit to the boycott of NY 1 News and Charter/ Spectrum. As UCOMM has previously reported, Local 3 IBEW members at the cable giant have been on strike since March of 2017 as they fight for a fair contract.
After starting the boycott of NY1, a cable news station owned by Charter / Spectrum in October, several prominent elected officials refused to go onto the notable NYC news station. With its hands tied, the company agreed to come back to the bargaining table with IBEW Local 3, the bargaining agent representing the 1,800 who are striking over pension benefits and health care. As a show of good faith, the union stopped their pickets outside of Spectrum stores and NY1. However, after just a few months of negotiations, talks once again broke down and the picket lines have begun again. Below is a video of three NY1 news guests refusing to cross the Local 3 picket line outside of the news stations studio.

In a statement from Local 3 IBEW Business Manager Chris Erikson, he said; “Despite a good faith effort to get an agreement, Charter has walked away from the negotiations. You see, I believe with all my heart, that Charter/Spectrum never wanted to get an agreement, that their intention from day one was to break this union, and that they were willing to throw their employees in the gutter to make it happen. As we were closing in on a deal that would have brought the strikers back with their union pension and health care intact, we were also negotiating wage increases for all the employees, including the replacement workers and those that crossed the line. I think that’s why the company pulled the plug: if we were successful in getting an agreement that the replacement workers would have supported, the company would have lost a pending decertification petition. 
The company is committed to seeing a decertification of the union - an effort that we believe they conceived from the beginning and is part of the playbook to bust a union: force a strike, never make an agreement, hire scabs and then decertify the union, that seems to have been their objective since day one. If Charter can break a union like Local 3 it will be a sad day for all unions in NYC. Working New Yorkers deserve better. Dump Charter. They’re bad news and the new poster child for union busting companies in America.”
To further the boycott, Local 3 held a rally in New York City this afternoon. Union members from across the city and across trades filled 23rd St in Manhattan, nearly filling a whole block between Lexington Ave and Park Ave. The members were joined by labor leaders and elected officials including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General-Elect Leticia James, and City Council President Corey Johnson. The message from all of the speakers was simple, that this attack on Local 3 members is an attack on the entire union workforce of New York. They also made it clear that New York will not stand for this type of union busting behavior. In his remarks, Governor Cuomo promised to continue the fight to remove Charter / Spectrum's franchise agreement and collect on a $20 million fine that the state imposed on the company, while James said that if they are not kicked out of the state this year, they will be in 2020 when their franchise agreement expires.
Picketing will continue outside of Spectrum facilities and NY1 until the company ends the strike or commits to fruitful bargaining sessions. If you are in NYC this holiday season join one of the picket lines listed below:
75 9th Avenue NY, NY
120 East 23 Street NY, NY
43 West 23 Street NY, NY
59 Paidge Avenue Brooklyn NY

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