Local Union No. 3, IBEW representing 1800 employees of Charter Communications/Spectrum is on strike. The Local 3 members formerly employed by Time Warner Cable before the purchase by Charter have been working under an expired agreement. Both TWC and Charter have refused to bargain with Local 3 for over 2 years.
A number of high profile labor disputes have been in the news over the past year – IBEW and CWA members employed by Verizon, IUE-CWA Local 81359/81380 members employed by Momentive Performance Materials in upstate NY, and the Fight for $15 initiative focused in low-wage industries like fast-food and service jobs. Clearly, the tactics employed by Charter/Spectrum during these negotiations are pulled directly from the corporate playbook.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM promised customer’s internet speeds knowing their equipment was not capable of delivering.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM has been disciplining their technicians over repeat service calls to customers over unobtainable Wi-Fi internet speeds.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM is forcing technicians to install refurbished equipment not capable of maintaining internet speeds.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM is not providing proper training and promotions to their technicians.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM are using subcontractors from other states in violation of the New York City Franchise Agreement.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM proposes to reduce medical benefits for their technicians.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM is being sued by NYS Attorney General Schneiderman for lying about their internet speed. (Please see press release at the following link: https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-lawsuit-against-spectrum-time-warner-cable-and-charter)
According to the informational website run by rank and file Charter/Spectrum employees – http://nycabletruth.blogspot.com/ – these are some of the proposals put forth by Charter thus far:
- Charter wants to eliminate Pension and Hospitalization plan contributions.
- Charter wants to eliminate the Educational and Cultural Trust Fund contributions. Funds will no longer will be available for employees and spouses to attend college.
- Charter wants to eliminate Annuity/HRA contributions, Dental, and the Company 401k.
- Charter wants to eliminate Social Security (FICA) which is an additional 7.65% of your salary.
- Charter wants to eliminate overtime pay for Saturday and Sunday.
- Charter wants to reduced holidays from 9 to 7 days (eliminate your birthday day and religious holiday).
- Charter wants to eliminate bargaining unit shifts and create shifts at their discretion at any time.
- Charter wants to have union members paid bi-weekly instead of weekly.
- Charter wants to eliminate all personal days including accrued personal days and eliminate unused payout of sick time.
- Charter wants to eliminate the Subcontracting Clause which will allow them to lay off employees of the company even if outside contractors are being used.
- Charter wants the right to subcontract out service and all bargaining unit work.
- Charter wants to assign any employee regardless of seniority to any work location, in the five boroughs and New Jersey, at their discretion.
- Charter wants to eliminate the representation of your Shop Steward.