International Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3, with 1,800 workers out on strike for more than a year, thought they were so close to a contract, they had stopped picketing Charter/Spectrum.
Then this $41 billion company, one of the largest multichannel cable service providers in the U.S., walked away from the bargaining table Nov. 30 because IBEW refused to accept major punishing takeaways.
The union picket lines started up again Dec. 3, and the New York Central Labor Council called a mass rally Dec. 5.
The rally drew a solid thousand workers to protest at the Spectrum office on East 23rd Street. There a number of labor union leaders spoke in support of IBEW Local 3. Also present was Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who pointed out that Spectrum is in violation of the license agreement which allows it to operate in New York.
Daily picketing continues. (For locations see tinyurl.com/yapqthzu.) Supporters are needed to attend rallies as they are in a better legal position than union members to speak out against scabbing and for boycotting the company. The statewide AFL-CIO has launched a boycott campaign, Cut the Cord Spectrum. (tinyurl.com/y88nk3o5)
Meanwhile, cable technicians are leading campaigns to promote a publicly owned cable option (tinyurl.com/y8hmjgnz) and to get actor Ellen DeGeneres to stop being in Spectrum commercials.
Sara Catalinotto also contributed to this report.