September 2017
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Also In This Issue Fit to a T
Cincinnati local finds
union-made shirts,
new shop read_more

Growing Opportunities
New program targets
market share potential read_more

Sunshine and Sea Cows
IBEW wires solar array at Tampa plant read_more

In Service to Country
Member pays tribute to grandfather's generation read_more

IEC Minutes
January 2017 read_more

North of 49°
Vancouver Pre-Apprentice Program Expands Access read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Le programme de
formation préparatoire à l'apprentissage élargit
l'accès read_more


The link to purchase additional kits from the National Child Identification Program is
. The URL printed in the August issue of the Electrical Worker was incorrect.





Change of Address


  Cover Photo

Charter Turns its Back on Customers, Union Members

Charter/Spectrum is doing just fine. The cable television company took in $29 billion in revenue in 2016 and the stock price has gone up about 70 percent during the last year.

Yet it continues to make demands that would devastate about 1,800 members of New York Local 3, who have been on strike against the company since March 28.

Charter/Spectrum refused to come to the table despite the entreaties of a federal mediator. It finally met with Local 3 negotiators on Aug. 7, the first negotiating session in more than 2½ months. It has ignored New York City political leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who called on the company to negotiate a fair contract.

"It's pretty draconian what they are trying to do," said Kevin Curran, an international representative in the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Department. "If they want to attack everything you have, it seems the end game is to get rid of the union instead of getting concessions."

Now, IBEW members around the country are helping out. They started handing out leaflets at Charter/Spectrum bill-pay centers in mid-July, letting customers know that while cable and internet rates go up, the company isn't sharing the profit with employees or consumers.

"Any pressure points that we can put on the company to get them back to the table is appreciated," said Local 3 Business Manager Chris Erikson, who is also chairman of the International Executive Council. "I am sure they are feeling the heat. The public is becoming more aware of what Charter/Spectrum is actually doing."

One pressure point may be coming from New York City officials. Many believe Charter/Spectrum is violating its franchise agreement with the city by bringing in workers from outside New York during the strike. The mayor's office has initiated an audit of the company. The agreement expires in 2020.

"What's happening here is just fundamentally unfair to the workers," de Blasio told New York radio station WNYC. "My strong message to Charter/Spectrum is to come to the table and resolve this."

"I'm not going to prejudge that investigation, but if negative findings occur, it can have a very real impact on the future of Charter/Spectrum's business with New York City and their ability to be here and do their work here," the mayor said.

Curran said it's always preferable to work with a company, noting the five-year contract agreement the IBEW reached with AT&T earlier this year with no public acrimony. But Charter/Spectrum is making that difficult.

"We would much rather be partners with companies we do business with, but IBEW members are battling a corporation that has little regard not just for its employees' welfare, but also for the customers it serves," International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said. "That's disheartening, but it's a battle we can win." read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson:
Standing Up to
Corporate Greed read_more
Solidarity in Baltimore read_more

TransitionsKen Woods;
Michael J. Kwashnik read_more

PoliticsIBEW's Cavanaugh Prevails in Granite State Senate Matchup read_more

CircuitsNew IBEW Newsletter Highlights Code of Excellence Values;
Lobbying 101: How to
Be an Agent for Change;
Hunter? Angler? Catch Brotherhood Outdoors Season 9;
In the Upper Peninsula, IBEW Local Leads the Way in Helping Others;
Pope Francis: 'There is
No Good Society Without Good Unions' read_more

LettersThe Role of Politics;
Stick with the Union;
Keep Organizing read_more

Who We AreMassachusetts Member Honored for Generosity to Cancer Research read_more



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