One thousand eight hundred workers in New York City and in Bergen county, New Jersey remain on strike against cable TV and internet provider Spectrum, seven months after walking out on March 28. The field technicians, warehouse workers and engineers are fighting to defend their pensions, health care benefits and to oppose management harassment.
The workers are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 (IBEW). The strike has been isolated by the IBEW, and the much larger telecom union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which are determined to prevent a unified struggle of workers against the relentless attack on jobs and living standards by the telecom giants and the two big business parties that have facilitated the wave of mergers and acquisitions and the domination of the industry by a few monopolies.
Most of the picket lines have been shut down and many workers have been forced to take other jobs, from Uber driving to bartending, while the strikebreakers are driving around town with impunity.
Prior to calling the strike, the IBEW kept the cable installers, repairmen engineers and other workers on the job for nearly three years without a contract after the expiration of the previous agreement in 2013.
In May 2016 Charter Communications bought up Time Warner Cable, creating Spectrum. Prior to the change in ownership, Time Warner had paid into the IBEW joint pension fund known as the Joint Industry Board for the electrical industry, or JIB.