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Spectrum Strike Ends in a Whimper, Workers Still in the Dark

The longest ongoing labor strike in the US has come to an end. In a leaked email sent to NYC workers dated April 25, 2022, Charter Communications claimed, “Charter and Local 3 have reached an agreement that resolves our dispute, Local 3 declaimed interest, meaning they have withdrawn from representing Charter employees…” The email goes on to say, “Charter and the JIB (the IBEW pension fund) have also agreed to an amount to be paid as a result of Charter’s withdrawal from the plan.”

In a letter dated April 27, 2022, IBEW Local 3 confirmed the deal. Workers have been left with little details on where they stand. The only new information offered was that temporarily reassigned members would have their changes made permanent. When I asked if there’s been any new information, one rank-and-file member stated to me, “We’re not getting straight answers when anyone calls to speak to management.” We have attempted to reach out to the leadership of Local 3 unsuccessfully.

It’s been almost 2 months since the news first broke that the union came to an agreement to end the strike and workers have still been given no information by leadership. In a webinar hosted by the rank-and-file workers, Troy Walcott, a Shop Steward, announced that striking workers found out online like everyone else about the settlement. In his presentation for those in attendance, he confirmed that all striking members remained in good standing with the union throughout the strike. One key takeaway was that all strike activities were organized and paid for by the rank-and-file members without any help from the union. As of now, it appears that there will be no distribution of benefits to workers who have stayed out for the duration of the strike.

What appears to be the outcome of this strike is a glaring example of the need for class conscious trade unionism. Many workers on the webinar expressed a desire to take legal action against the union for their actions, there were even calls for picketing the union’s offices in the five boroughs. We here at Labor United for Class Struggle would like to share our deepest solidarity with the workers who have been striking at Spectrum and hope they are victorious in whichever path they take going forward.

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