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Supporting Spectrum strikers

New York Teacher
Miller Photography

Among the UFT members joining the protesters are (front, from right) District 3 Representative Elizabeth Espert and Everett Stembridge.

UFT members were among the thousands of union members who came out on Sept. 18 in support of the 1,800 Spectrum workers who have been on strike for six months against the cable giant to keep the company from destroying their retirement and health benefits and threatening their job security. Protesters streamed across the Brooklyn Bridge and then gathered for a large rally in Foley Square in Manhattan supported by the AFL-CIO New York City Central Labor Council. “It was exhilarating seeing so many workers come together as one,” said Stephanie Forbes, a paraprofessional at PS 99 in Kew Gardens. “It was powerful.” Charter Communications, Inc. acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016 and renamed it Spectrum. Murry Bergtram HS Chapter Leader Everett Stembridge said he was marching to show his support for the right of workers to improve and protect their lives through collective bargaining. “We have to lead by example to show our students how, by peaceful protest, we protect our union legacy, how we are all in this together,” he said. The UFT has steadfastly supported the striking workers, including by contributing to their union’s strike fund. Although a federal mediator has been appointed, contract negotiations are at a stalemate. 

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