THE NEW YORK STATE AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3 IBEW & LABOR UNIONS STATEWIDE ANNOUNCE BOYCOTT OF CHARTER SPECTRUM

THE NEW YORK STATE AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3 IBEW & LABOR UNIONS STATEWIDE ANNOUNCE BOYCOTT OF CHARTER SPECTRUM
 
Union Re-Launches Picket Line Outside Spectrum NY Headquarters & NY1 Studios After Spectrum Slams Door On Workers
 
Governor Cuomo & Top Elected Officials Will Join Picket Line this Week In Support Of Striking Workers
 
Local Union No. 3, IBEW Launch Renewed Boycott Pledge And Significant Media Buy To Encourage Customers To Dump Spectrum


NEW YORK – After weeks of productive negotiations, Spectrum abruptly cut off talks with Local Union No. 3 IBEW and slammed the door on 1,800 workers who have been on strike since March 2017. In response, the union announced today it is launching a multi-pronged campaign, with the support from both private and public sector unions as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo and elected officials, to fight back against Spectrum’s callous, anti-worker actions.

  • IBEW Local 3 is re-launching a picket line outside of Charter Spectrum’s New York Headquarters and Spectrum News’ television studios at Chelsea Market in Manhattan to protest the corporation’s refusal to offer workers fair wages and benefits.

  • On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo, along with elected officials and labor leaders from across the state, will join the striking workers’ demonstration.

  • Local Union No. 3 is launching a digital campaign backed by a significant media buy to support the boycott pledge and encourage customers to drop Spectrum in favor of other service providers. The campaign will inform millions of customers in New York State about Spectrum Charter’s anti-worker actions and provide information about alternative service providers in their area.


“After weeks of negotiating in good faith, we were blindsided by Spectrum’s unconscionable decision to slam the door on their workers without any warning. It’s clear that at the 11th hour, Spectrum chose to put profits over people, leaving thousands of New Yorkers out in the cold right in the middle of the holiday season, said Chris Erikson, Business Manager of IBEW Local 3. “In response, we have decided to re-launch our picket line outside Spectrum News NY1’s studios to protest the callousness of this greedy corporation. In addition, we are calling for a boycott of Spectrum News outlets and will be aggressively pushing New Yorkers to drop Spectrum service. Our hard working members deserve better than to be treated like garbage while Spectrum makes money hand over fist, and we will never stop fighting for them.”

“New York will always stand up and defend the working men and women in this state, and we are standing together to demand respect and fairness for the Local 3 workers,” said Governor Cuomo. “I proudly join my brothers and sisters in the labor movement and will honor the boycott of Spectrum until there is a resolution to this situation that gives Local 3 members and their families a deal they deserve, and I urge all elected officials to do the same.”

Unions that are joining IBEW Local 3 in calling for a boycott of Spectrum News include The New York Hotel Trades Council, the New York State AFL-CIO, the New York City Central Labor Council, SEIU Local 32BJ, the United Federation of Teachers, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, AFSCME District Council 37, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), and the New York State Nurses Association.

“The entire labor movement is united in supporting the men and women of IBEW Local 3 to send the message that Spectrum’s corporate greed will not be tolerated in our city. These workers were on the cusp of receiving the fair wages, benefits and pension they have earned. But instead of acting in good faith, Spectrum transformed into the Grinch so they can steal another Christmas for thousands of New Yorkers and their families. Spectrum refuses to support these workers, but unions from every corner of New York will,” said Mario Cilento, President of New York State AFL-CIO.

“Just when both sides were close to an agreement, Spectrum decided to pull the plug. It’s a slap in the face to working people that Spectrum is only interested in pocketing billions of dollars in profits, while refusing to even give their workers crumbs. We urge all elected officials to stand up for their constituents who are getting a lump of coal from Spectrum this holiday season,” said Vinny Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council.

“Spectrum’s workers have been on strike for over 20 months, and just as a resolution was imminent, Spectrum abruptly ended negotiations. We strongly support IBEW Local 3 in their fight for dignity and ask all New Yorkers to stand in solidarity with these hardworking men and women and their families,” said Hector Figueroa, President of 32BJ Service Employees International Union.

“We stand with our brothers and sisters of Local 3 – IBEW in their fight for a fair contract with Spectrum! When Spectrum disregards its workers and abruptly walks away from negotiations the company not only disrespects its workers, but all working people, their families and communities– many are  the very consumers from whom they take their vast profits! Fair contracts and good faith negotiations are part of the fabric of our nation. Spectrum’s actions are truly reprehensible,” said Jill Furillo, RN, Executive Director of the New York State Nurses Association.

“After 20 months on strike, Spectrum workers were finally coming close to meaningful resolution before Spectrum slammed the door in their faces. DC 37 members stand with our brothers and sisters in IBEW Local 3, and call on all of our elected officials to respect the picket line at Spectrum News NY1 and demand that Spectrum return to the table and bring this strike to an end. These working families have waited long enough,” said Henry A. Garrido is the Executive Director of District Council 37.

“Our IBEW Local 3 sisters and brothers have been on strike for nearly two years, and the idea that Spectrum would walk away from productive negotiations at this juncture is both outrageous and irresponsible,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU.  “Now is the time for Spectrum to get back to the table to bargain in good faith with its workers. 1199SEIU stands with Local 3 as they continue to fight for the wages, benefits, and respect they deserve,” said George Gresham, President of 1199/SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

“Spectrum has once again shown all New Yorkers that it cares more about profits than about people. The men and women of New York City’s Building and Construction Trades stand with their brothers and sisters in IBEW Local 3 in full support of the Spectrum NY1 picket line, and calls for our local elected officials to show their solidarity with all working people by respecting the picket and refusing to appear on NY1,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

“The United Federation of Teachers supports the IBEW Local 3 picket at Spectrum News NY1’s studios, and asks that all of our elected leaders show their support for New York’s working families by refusing to cross the line,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.

Charter/Spectrum has attempted to break the union and force workers into substandard retirement and medical plans that would leave workers significantly worse off. The union went on strike in March 2017 after the company proposed to eliminate pension benefits and proposed drastic cuts in medical coverage, and draconian work rule adjustments for Local 3 members. After nearly two years of a bitter strike, the company continues to make these outrageous demands. In October of 2018, Spectrum agreed to negotiations with IBEW Local 3, but then the company abandoned talks without any warning after both sides were close to an agreement.

Charter Communications’ revenue rose to total of $81.4 billion in 2016 and 2017. The company’s Chairman and CEO Thomas Rutledge received $106.3 million in compensation in the last two years.

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