Blog December 5, 2018

What You Won’t Hear From Local 3: The truth About Charter’s Talks to End the Strike

Charter is a proud member of the New York community and has a strong and positive labor history. Every day, Charter’s eleven thousand Empire State employees work around-the-clock to provide superior services for our more than three million New York customers. That’s why we’re disappointed that last week, IBEW Local 3 rejected a fair offer we put on the table that included key concessions on the union’s demands in order to end the strike.

Charter’s latest rejected offer was generous, and represented a continuation of good-faith negotiations with the union that have lasted months. The offer addressed the union’s top demand and would have allowed many returning workers to have the choice to receive substantial wage increases, along with the company’s robust benefits; be covered by the union’s benefits; or receive a generous buy-out package with the union’s benefits.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. It gets repeated and taken as gospel. And it does a disservice to the men and women who work for Charter. Charter wants to set the record straight for our employees and our customers.

  • Charter has made substantial concessions: In order to reach a deal and end the strike, Charter agreed to substantial concessions while still ensuring our current employees are well cared for. This included continuing to fund the union’s medical and benefit plan, the JIB, which was the union’s #1 demand. While Charter still believes that the JIB is not in the best interests of our employees and diverts money from wages to support less ideal benefits than the wages and benefits Charter provides, we made this concession in an effort to end the strike. In addition, Charter also agreed to bring back on an expedited basis and make eligible for the JIB an agreed to number of employees. Other employees would also be able to return over time through priority reinstatement.
  • The NLRB has said Charter has negotiated in good faith: Charter has negotiated in good faith, as confirmed by the NLRB, and ultimately introduced excellent terms and conditions to our workers including significant pay increases over the expired union contract and robust medical benefits and a market-leading 401K. More than 500 employees returned to work to secure these generous terms.
  • Only a few bad actors would be unable to return to work: Under the company’s proposal more than 97% of employees currently on strike would be welcome to return. Only bad actors — such as those who vandalized Charter’s network used to provide critical communications services to customers including to public safety, schools and hospitals, or blocked employees and customers from entering or exiting Charter facilities, or engaged in acts of violence — would be unable to return.

Charter is proud of our positive labor record with a history of not only positive labor relations, but also providing generous pay, robust benefits and opportunities for career advancement. In fact, during this strike, Charter has settled collective bargaining agreements with unions representing Charter employees in Hawaii – a state with a strong labor presence like New York. The terms reached in Hawaii were similar to those offered and rejected by Local 3.

While the strike has been ongoing, the quality of service to our New York customers has reached an all-time high. Despite that, Charter’s generous offer – variants of which have been already accepted by IBEW bargaining units in Hawaii – remains on the table. In the meantime, Charter will continue working to ensure our valued customers in New York have access to the best services possible.