A member of the City Council recently joined the striking works of Spectrum® on the picket line for denouncing the use of out-of-state workers by the telecom company during the labor dispute. Approximately 1,800 cable techs for Spectrum® resigned their job on March 28 over health care and pension issues during the contract negotiations with the telecom giant.
The employees of the telecom company responded to this issue by conducting a strike at Spectrum® centers in New Jersey and other parts of the City. Several individuals, including Mayor De Blasio, tried to negotiate the dispute between the two parties, but all of the attempts failed miserably.
The union that represents employees of the company, IBEW Local 3, recently claimed that Charter Communications® has been seeking the help of out-of-state workers for filling the gaps that were caused by the worker’s strike. Reports indicate that this move from Charter® can be considered as a violation of the franchise agreement that the company had earlier signed with the City Hall.
Councilman Rory Lancman asked Charter Communications® to discontinue the practice of importing employees from other states of the country for doing the work of IBEW Local 3 members. He also mentioned article 14.5 of Charter’s franchise agreement with the City, which indicates that the telecom company must use city workers to the feasible extent.
Lancman added that he has spotted Charter® contractors with license plates from all over the country such as California, Illinois, Texas, and even New England, since the beginning of the labor dispute. He said, “Charter Communications’ decision to use out-of-state contractors not only goes against its franchise agreement with the City but also the values we hold as New Yorkers.”
“We believe that work in New York City should be performed by New York City workers, like Local 3, who have the training and expertise to get the job done right,” he added. Several members from the IBEW Local 3 also spoke about the use of out-of-state contractors by Charter®.
On the other hand, a spokesman from Charter Communications ® argued that the telecom company is meeting their franchise obligations with the city. He added, “The contractors serving our customers during the strike are overwhelmingly from New York City,” the representative said. “However, the franchise clearly allows the company to use contractors from elsewhere, which we are doing.”
“While we will not elaborate on our contingency planning, the use of a stringent vetting process and use of quality contractors is paramount so that we may best serve our customers. We are well aware of this franchise term and are complying fully with its mandate,” Charter® officials added.
Reports indicate that the strike has not yet affected the subscriber numbers of Charter®, who is one of the leading internet providers in the country. This means that your best bet at acquiring the best internet and cable deal is still Charter Communications®.