Building Bridges: Striking Spectrum Charter Cable Workers' Demonstrate for a Fair Contract & Against Union Busting , Segment 1
On Strike, Six Months & Counting: Spectrum Cable workers headed from the picket line crossing the Brooklyn Bridges to a massive Rally in Foley Square drawing thousands of supporters from the labor & community movements for social change. They built support amongst the public for their fight for a fair contract and to save their union, amidst a media whiteout of their historic labor struggle! with IBEW Local 3 strikers and supporters Some 1,800 members of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 have been on strike at Spectrum/Time Warner Cable in New York and New Jersey since March 28, more than six months ago. Since then, only a fraction of the workforce has crossed picket lines, but the company is trying hard to keep up normal operations by using scabs and subcontractors to break the strike and the workers' union.. Spectrum is part of Charter Communications, the 2nd largest cable provider in the U.S. and is a tele-communications giant, providing services to roughly 25 million customers in 41 states, two and a half million of which reside in New York. The CEO, Tom Rutledge, who made $98.5 million last year met with Donald Trump in the White House earlier this year, and the company is touted by Trump as a job creator investing in its U.S. workforce. Meanwhile Rutledges Charter Communications has hung its workers out to dry: . 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 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 Shop Stewards. Walter Smith, a cable technician at Spectrum for 6 years lives in the Bronx. He received an eviction notice in July after falling behind on his bills, he said. The father of two has not worked since early October, when he had surgery to remove a benign tumor on his head. When he was ready to return to work in April, workers had just gone on strike. The strike has lasted longer than anybody could have imagined, Mr. Smith, 48, said. Emotionally, dealing with the tumor and then this financially, it has been tough, but I have a strong family that keeps me grounded, and Ill keep walking the picket line until Spectrum CEO Rutledge honors our union and we get a fair contract.