HUNDREDS OF WORKERS, ELECTED OFFICIALS AND LABOR LEADERS RALLY IN SUPPORT OF WORKER STRIKE AGAINST CHARTER SPECTRUM

HUNDREDS OF WORKERS, ELECTED OFFICIALS AND LABOR LEADERS RALLY IN SUPPORT OF WORKER STRIKE AGAINST CHARTER SPECTRUM
 
Outside Spectrum NY Headquarters, Gov. Cuomo, State and City Elected Officials Sign Boycott Pledge
 
Local Union No. 3, IBEW To Launch Significant Media Buy To Encourage Customers To Dump Spectrum


NEW YORK – Hundreds of elected officials, workers and labor leaders joined forces at a rally today in support of IBEW Local 3’s 1,800 workers, who have been on strike since March 2017 against cable giant Spectrum, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and dozens of top city and state leaders signed a pledge to boycott Charter Spectrum, including NY1, while the union’s picket line remains in force.

After weeks of productive negotiations, Spectrum refused to change their position with Local Union No. 3 IBEW last week, declining to explain why the billion-dollar corporation will not provide fair wages and benefits to its workers. 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.

A full copy of the boycott pledge and its signers can be found below.

“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. “We would like to say thank you to Gov. Cuomo, our strong elected allies, and our brothers and sisters in the labor movement for boycotting Spectrum News outlets. 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.”

“While the federal government is waging all-out assault on the labor movement, New York will always stand up for working men and women, and we proudly join with the hardworking members of Local 3 in their fight,” said Governor Cuomo. “I will honor the boycott of Spectrum until Local 3 members are treated with respect and fairness, and I call on all fellow elected officials to do the same.”

“I join other elected officials and labor leaders in standing with IBEW Local 3 after Charter Spectrum ceased discussions with the union to pay workers a decent wage and benefits,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Every hardworking employee deserves to make a fair and livable wage and be provided with the benefits they need to ensure their health and safety. Spectrum’s actions go against our values as New Yorkers, and we will fight to ensure men and women of labor are not cheated out of what they deserve.”

“Charter Communications pulling the plug on negotiations at the last minute with Local 3 members is disgraceful. Local 3 members deserve a fair contract, and they deserve it now,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “This strike has gone on too long, and a company that generates billions in annual revenue can surely afford good wages and benefits for Local 3 members. All of us have to say: enough is enough. Until Charter settles with Local 3, I will refuse to cross any of IBEW Local 3’s picket lines at any of NY1’s properties, and will stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in labor.”

“Having a union job helps middle class families survive and succeed in this city,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “My stepfather was a Teamster, and I understand the struggle and fight for fair wages. I stand with Local 3 in their battle against Charter Communications. I will sign the boycott pledge, and will never cross any of Local 3’s picket lines as long as its members are out.”

Unions that joined IBEW Local 3 in today’s boycott announcement 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.

Here is the full text of the boycott pledge signed by Gov. Cuomo and other elected leaders today:

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned that after nearly two years, over 1,000 IBEW Local 3 members remain on strike in New York City against Charter Communications.

Charter Communications has attempted to break the union and force workers into substandard retirement and medical plans that would leave them and their families significantly worse off.  IBEW Local 3 went on strike in March 2017, after Charter Spectrum proposed the elimination of pension benefits, drastic cuts in medical coverage and draconian work rule adjustments for workers. After nearly two years of a bitter strike, Charter Spectrum continues to make these outrageous demands.

Despite the fact that the union has repeatedly attempted to negotiate in good faith, Charter Spectrum refused to change their position to provide workers with protections. As a result, Local 3 has reinstated a picket line in front of the Charter Communications Headquarters in New York City.

With Charter Communications’ revenue rising to a total of $81.4 billion in 2016 and 2017, it is unthinkable that Local 3 members have been forced to strike for the basic wages and benefits they’ve worked so hard to earn.

As long as IBEW Local 3 members maintain their picket line, we will boycott Charter Communications and their entities and we encourage others to do the same.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

 
New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul
 
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson

New York City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel

New York City Council Member Diana Ayala

New York City Council Member Joseph Borelli

New York City Council Member Justin Brannan

New York City Council Member Fernando Cabrera

New York City Council Member Margaret Chin

New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides

New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy

New York City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm

New York City Council Member Rafael Espinal

New York City Council Member Vanessa Gibson

New York City Council Member Mark Gjonaj

New York City Council Member Barry Grodenchik

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos

New York City Council Member Andy King

New York City Council Member Rory Lancman

New York City Council Member Brad Lander

New York City Council Member Stephen Levin

New York City Council Member Mark Levine

New York City Council Member I. Daneek Miller

New York City Council Member Francisco Moya

New York City Council Member Bill Perkins

New York City Council Member Keith Powers

New York City Council Member Antonio Reynoso

New York City Council Member Donovan Richards

New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera

New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

New York City Council Member Deborah Rose

New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal

New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca

New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres

New York City Council Member Mark Treyger

New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams

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