By Ernie Fritz
Members of I.B.E.W., local 3 have been staging a very noisy picket line outside the storefront offices of Spectrum Charter (formerly Time Warner Cable) at Broadway and 96th street this week.
The strike involves “pension and welfare issues” according to one of the protestors, but the larger issue seems to be Charter’s refusal to renegotiate with the union over an agreement that it had made with Time Warner Cable in 2013 that expired last month. The union has been on strike with the company since March 28th and claims that Charter has acted in bad faith under what they believed was the agreement made with TWC during the time of the sale.
Charter Communications purchased Time Warner Cable in May of 2015 for $55 billion and promptly rebranded the cable side, “Spectrum”. It is currently the second largest cable provider in the nation.
When contacted, a spokesman for the company issued the following statement, “Spectrum is dedicated to providing great service to our customers and investing in our workforce is a critical part of how we do that. This is why Spectrum is offering our field technicians a pay increase larger than the union has demanded, along with competitive and robust healthcare and retirement benefits. We believe this greater compensation to be more beneficial to our employees and allows us to grow a well-paid, highly skilled workforce for the benefit of our customers.”
Additionally, he added “I should point out that we have been and continue to stand ready to bargain in good faith with Local 3 at any time and as many times as necessary to reach a fair agreement.”
Photo by Ernie Fritz.