Charter Sues Union Over Alleged Acts of Sabotage
Charter has sued the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3, accusing the union's workers of repeatedly sabotaging the company's infrastructure. The lawsuit is the latest escalation of the company's standoff with its New York area union employees, who have been on strike for more than six months -- and working without a contract since 2013. These striking workers say Charter has been utterly intractable in contract negotiations, and has been notably more stingy in concessions than their previous employer, Time Warner Cable -- which was acquired by Charter last year.Charter's lawsuit was filed last week in Manhattan Supreme Court, and claims IBEW union members have cut or damaged cables and other Charter equipment more than 125 times since the union first went out on strike back in March.
"The sabotage was done purely out of maliciousness," Charter's lawyers claim. "The saboteurs clearly knew the optimal locations where they could quickly cut cable lines to multiple customers without being harmed or observed, suggesting they are cable technicians who work for Charter."
Proof of this sabotage has proven difficult to come by. One Charter union worker was arrested back in July for allegedly cutting Charter fiber lines, only to be released due to lack of evidence. Such tactics have been used by some striking workers historically to try and add pressure on the impacted company, though Charter workers have repeatedly denied the use of such tactics.
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