IBEW-Represented Spectrum Strikers In New York City Mark 1,000 Days Out - One Former City Official Calls For Cable TV To Be Publicly-Owned & Use Union Labor
(NEW YORK CITY) - “It’s been ‘three years with no’ money. ‘It’s tough,’” says Jason, one of the 1,800 Workers at the Spectrum Cable TV Company who’ve now been on Strike for more than 1,000 days with no sign of management offering a palatable deal.
He’s gotten some electrical and data work through their Union - International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3, but it’s not steady and the pay and benefits don’t match up with what he had at Spectrum.
“A lot of families ‘lost’ their homes,” said Jason, who did not want to provide his last name. “A lot of people ‘died from stress.’”
Troy Walcott, the Local 3 Member who was Lead Organizer of a rally held in front of City Hall on Monday (December 23rd), to mark the walkout’s 1,001st day, says Strikers are reluctant to talk about their hardships in public - foreclosures, losing medical coverage, having their savings for their kids to go to college wiped out.
Some of the about 150 Strikers and supporters who turned out wore black Santa hats to symbolize what Organizers called “1,000 days of coal.”
“We’re ‘still out here struggling,’” he told the crowd. “A ‘lot of people have forgotten.’”
One reason for that, he said afterwards, is that the city’s leading local-news TV channel, New York 1, is owned by Spectrum, and “they won’t say a word about us.”
Local 3 Members walked out in March 2017 after Spectrum, which bought the city’s cable-TV franchise for $57 billion in 2016 from Time Warner, demanded to change Workers’ Health Benefits to a high-deductible plan and replace their pensions with a 401(k) plan.
“There’s ‘been no movement on anything for the past year.’ The company’s ‘still pushing decertification’,” IBEW Local 3 Business Agent Derek Jordan told LaborPress. “Spectrum’s ‘just a bad’ company.”
Spectrum, which has continued to operate by hiring strikebreakers, is trying to have Local 3 decertified as the Union representing its Workers.
A company spokesperson did not answer questions about the state of the negotiations.
The rally was organized by Rank-and-File Local 3 Members, with the Union Leadership supporting them - but staying in the background.
“We ‘wanted it to be that the Members are putting something together,’” Walcott said.
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