Features, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York, Retail

Charter/Spectrum Ignores Responsibility; Entices Workers to Give Up Strike

December 8, 2017

By Joe Maniscalco

New York, NY – After nine months striking, the roughly 1,800 Charter/Spectrum workers represented by IBEW Local 3 are

Charter/Spectrum flies the flag while keeping mum on American workers.

headed into the holiday season still unsure about their survival — but the multi-billion-dollar telecom giant that employs them doesn’t want to talk about what it means to be a “good corporate citizen” or what their responsibility to working men and women might be.

The second-largest telecom in the nation with revenues topping $29 billion last year, had a chance, earlier this week, to accept a union offer to reinstate the old employee contact for the next couple of years and bring the interminable 9-month-old strike to an immediate end. Charter/Spectrum, which happily pays its CEO Tom Rutledge a $98 million compensation package, refused to give workers the time of day.

When asked on Thursday about Charter/Spectrum’s responsibility to working men and women and the middle-class customers it serves, Director of Communications, New York City Region, John Bonomo declined to comment. Opting, instead to reiterate the company line that has failed to move the needle an inch since last March.

“Our offer, which we implemented in July, includes an immediate average wage increase of 22 percent — with some employees eligible for a 55-percent increase — complemented by the same excellent health insurance choices we offer to the rest of our 92,000 employees and a 401(k) savings plan with a generous six-percent dollar-for-dollar match,” Bonomo told LaborPress in an email. “A Local 3 member who comes back to work tomorrow begins receiving all these benefits tomorrow.”

IBEW Local 3 Business Manager Chris Erikson has already accused Charter/Spectrum of union busting. Bonomo’s direct appeal to individual Local 3 members to cross the picket line only gives further credence to the accusation.

The union maintains that Charter/Spectrum’s outlandish talk of 55-percentage wage increases and “excellent health insurance choices” doesn’t stand up to scrutiny when considering all the givebacks the corporation is insisting, and the superior medical and pension benefits that workers have already fought to secure.

What about that discrepancy? Charter/Spectrum’s spokesperson doesn’t want to address it either.

Publicly, at least, both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are becoming increasingly fed up with Charter/Spectrum’s obdurate stance. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is already suing them for allegedly defrauding customers.

If the chants of “Lock Him Up!” that were directed at Rutledge during the last IBEW Local 3 rally held in Times Square, or rising working class frustration ultimately resulting in corporate reforms are giving Charter/Spectrum execs pause, Bonomo isn’t saying.

As LaborPress legal contributor Alexander Schmidt points out, amending existing laws that govern corporate behavior run the gamut from campaign spending full disclosure measures, to empowering attorneys general to revoke corporate charters.

Governor Cuomo has previous warned Charter/Spectrum that if it doesn’t live up to prior agreements, “they’re going to be out of the State of New York.”

Once again, if Charter/Spectrum execs are at all concerned with that sobering prospect, they aren’t talking about it either.

And the strike continues.

December 8, 2017

6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Charter/Spectrum Ignores Responsibility; Entices Workers to Give Up Strike”

  1. Denis Casey says:

    IBEW Local 3 has represented the workers on strike for over 40yrs. In NYC
    Charter /Spectrum knew this when they bought Time Warner cable . We didn’t ask for anything, just keep what we already had.

  2. Striker says:

    Sucks for me

  3. Chris says:

    The compensation package is all bs. Minimum wage goes up $13 at the end of this month and $15 at the end of 2018 that erodes the %22-55. Then minus the new monthly premiums for medical and dental for my family it’s about $500 a month and deductibles. Even calculate in less holidays, and eliminating personal days equals more commuting, more gas and tolls more wear and tear on your vehicle. In retirement I now don’t have a defined pension plan and need to hope the stock market does well. Also I would need to purchase a supplemental medical insurance which was provided in my union benefit package. It’s ludicrous to think their package is anyway in the same picture as what I get now. In short I lose money per pay period now and lose tons of money in retirement.

  4. Brian DeLoach says:

    The politicians have spoken with powerful words, but words havent gotten charter to negotuate in good faith.

  5. Daniel McColgan says:

    I have the letter with my pay offer ans its 1 dollar an hour. With the loss of fica my new take home is almost 200 less then I currently make hiw is that a 22% raise. I will gladly send you a copy with John Quigleys signature. Also their excellent coverage will cost me 400 a month and a 3000 deductible per family member. I now pay Union dues of 600 a year with 35 copays. They lie. My daughter had leukemia at 2 yrs old. Went through 5 years of chemo . At the time there was a 1 million dollar lifetime coverage per family member that she reached at age 5. She cintinued to be covered till she was 26 at no extra cost to me. Qill Charter provide that ? Feel gree to call me.

  6. Edwin says:

    Charter communications does not care about anyone but the share holders or the CEO customers and employees dont matter to them as we see how they are doing to the union workers union busting they are selling the company in a few years and want to get the most out of everyone including the city they are a bunch of liars that dont care

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *