20-Month-Old Spectrum Strike: How Much Longer Will It Last?
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20-Month-Old Spectrum Strike: How Much Longer Will It Last?

November 30, 2018

By Joe Maniscalco

New York, NY – Is progress finally being made in settling the punishing 20-month-old strike against tele-giant Charter/Spectrum? 

IBEW Local 3 Business Manager, on Friday, told LaborPress that, yes, some progress is being made. 

Governor Cuomo backs striking IBEW Local 3 workers at a Cadman Plaza Park rally last year.

“Some of the major hurdles have been overcome, but there are still some major hurdles that have not been overcome yet,” Erikson said. 

IBEW Local 3 members went on strike way back on March 28, 2017, after Charter Communications — still fresh off its multi-billion-dollar purchase of Time Warner Cable — turned around and took a corporate hacksaw to employee pension and health plans. 

Governor Cuomo and  Mayor Bill de Blasio most recently made some noise earlier this fall, when they boycotted appearances on Charter-owned news shows and urged other politicos to do the same. 

IBEW Local 3, in turn, agreed to suspend leafleting outside the Chelsea Market studios of NY1 after the governor requested a 72-hour moratorium on union activities. The  boycotts, however, quickly fizzled out as the midterm elections approached, leaving the strike in full effect with an obscene two-year anniversary coming up fast.

This week, Erikson told LaborPress that leafleting outside the Chelsea Market studios will resume if ongoing negotiations with Charter Communications should break down.

“If the negotiations fall apart, we certainly will,” Erikson said. 

Charter’s ongoing presence in New York State, meanwhile, continues to be nebulous after running afoul of both the state attorney general’s office and Public Service Commission — with the latter voiding support for the initial Time-Warner deal and ordering Charter Communications to clear out of the Empire State. 

Despite increasing political pressure and rising customer dissatisfaction, however, Charter has succeeded in obtaining extensions and forestalling any effort to actually kick them out of New York.

The Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications [DoITT], meanwhile, continues to “review” a much anticipated follow up audit of Charter’s Franchise Agreement with the City of New York.

Charter’s existing Franchise Agreement with New York City expires in 2020. Many in the City Council have already vowed the pact will not be renewed.

Charter Communications has not yet responded to requests for comment. 

November 30, 2018

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