Features, Law and Politics, New York, Retail

‘Not A Snowball’s Chance In Hell’ Charter/Spectrum Franchise Agreement Is Renewed

August 4, 2018

By Joe Maniscalco

New York, NY – Telecom giant Charter/Spectrum may have vowed to spend years challenging the Public Service Commission’s revocation of its 2016 merger with Time-Warner Cable — but the corporation’s chances of successfully renewing its Franchise Agreement with the City of New York in 2020 just might be zip.

Council Member I. Daneek Miller with striking IBEW Local 3 workers on the steps of City Hall earlier this summer.

“They don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell in having that renewed,” NYC Council Member I. Daneek Mill [D-27th District], chair of the Committee On Civil Service & Labor, told LaborPress this week. “There’s no space for a company that undermines workers, that deceives workers.”

Roughly 1,800 workers went on strike back on March 28, 2017 after Charter/Spectrum bosses threatened collectively bargained pension and healthcare plans. Many of those IBEW Local 3 members continue to hold the picket line almost a year-and-a-half later despite tremendous pressures and hardships.

Strikers insist that Charter/Spectrum bosses were intent on busting the union and never interested in bargaining in good faith.

The Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications [DoITT] has already issued a notice of default against the number two Cable TV provider in the nation after finding it engaged in unfair labor practice in suspending four IBEW Local 3 members participating in a work stoppage on Paige Avenue in Brooklyn back on April 2, 2014.

Additional default findings could be forthcoming following the completion of DoITT’s latest audit.

Council Member Miller — a former bus driver — estimates that some 200 of the original 1,800 Local 3 strikers and their families live within his district in Queens.

“It is an absolute travesty that every other commercial is a Spectrum commercial to perpetuate this fallacy of how great they are,” he said. “It’s not just the City that should not be doing business with them — it’s the people in the city who should not support people who do not support working families.”

One group of striking IBEW Local 3 members — led by 20-year-survey tech Troy Walcott — have introduced a plan to succeed Charter/Spectrum with a new worker cooperative.

“There’s a real possibility that could happen,” Council Member Miller said. “If there was a possibility, certainly, I would be supportive. I would support investing in working people in a heartbeat.”

Some 30 other members of the New York City Council are either calling on the City of New York to revoke its existing Franchise Agreement with Charter/Spectrum, or quit doing business with the telecom giant in the future.

DoITT is now soliciting public comments on the future of Charter/Spectrum’s continued operations in New York City. Those interested in commenting should click this link. Members of the public are invited to comment on Charter/Spectrum’s Franchise Agreement, as well as Franchise Agreements involving the other two telecom giants operating in the city — Verizon and Altice.

If Charter/Spectrum does fail to have its Franchise Agreement with the City of New York renewed in 2020, it’ll be the first time a franchisee was effectively revoked. Cable franchisees bring in serious money for the City of New York. In 2015, the city raked in about $136 million in franchise fees.

Charter/Spectrum has not yet responded to requests for comment.

August 4, 2018

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “‘Not A Snowball’s Chance In Hell’ Charter/Spectrum Franchise Agreement Is Renewed”

  1. Jeremy says:

    When can/ will/ how the IBEW come to Charter in saint Louis Missouri? The techs need some protection. They are treated with the “dime a dozen” attitude.

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