This has gone on too long. This disgrace should be confronted and settled.
What are we talking about? We are talking about the hardworking women and men at the cable provider Spectrum, who are on strike in a fight to protect benefits they’ve had for decades.
A year ago, 1,800 New York City-area technicians walked off the job after Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications, demanded the workers give up their union benefits for company-controlled health and retirement plans—policies that would leave Spectrum workers far worse off.
These demands by Charter were a consequence of its purchase of Time Warner Cable in 2016. As part of its anti-worker plans, Charter came into New York to gut contracts like they did with cable technicians nationwide, including unionized workers.
The intent was to break contracts and bust up the union, in this case, Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
The union fought back. The workers went on strike on March 25, 2017.
Why so long in a union town in New York City?
The reason why is that Spectrum is big, with bigger a friend backing them in this new Gilded Age of Trump. The company is run by Charter Communications, which services 25 million customers across the United States, making it the second largest cable company in the country.
Mergers and buyouts of other companies have left Charter with heavy pockets to withstand a strike, allowing it to hire “contractors” from around the country while their workers are forced to fight on with diminishing savings.
Many workers have taken huge cuts in pay, some forced to work poorly-paid side jobs to make ends meet while the strike drags on into its second year.
To stand with the strikers means more than walking a picket line. The effective response is to cut into the deep pockets of the cable company. Take action. If you are a customer. Tell Spectrum you stand with the strikers. If the company don’t listen, go elsewhere with your cable service.
Only then will this 14-month-old strike end.
The DC 37 Blog is an online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 municipal employees in New York City.