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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

On Friday morning, August 4, Mayor Bill de Blasio seemed to threaten to revoke Spectrum’s, one of the city's largest cable and internet providers, franchise agreement. The company is currently fighting with its employees’ union, and has been accused of not using local vendors. 

Last year, Charter Communications took over Time Warner Cable, rebranding it Spectrum. In March, it failed to reach a contract deal with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3, which led to 1,800 technicians going on strike. Charter denies the accusation that the union has made against them that the telecommunications giant is trying to pay less toward pensions and health benefits, and refusing to negotiate. 

On his weekly WNYC segment "Ask the Mayor," de Blasio restated his support for Local 3 and offered again to mediate a deal at City Hall.

De Blasio said, "What's happening here is just fundamentally unfair to the workers. My strong message to Charter Spectrum is come to the table and work to resolve this."

Crain’s reports, “The union has also lodged a complaint with the city Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, alleging Charter has failed to honor a proviso in its Spectrum's franchise agreement requiring it to provide services through vendors based in the five boroughs ‘to the extent feasible.’ The mayor hinted that, should the agency—which he controls—find the company in violation, it could result in revocation of the franchise, cutting the company off from the largest market in the United States.”

The mayor said, "I'm not going to prejudge that investigation, but if negative findings occur, it can have a very real impact on the future of Charter Spectrum's business with New York City and their ability to be here and do their work here.”

Crain’s was told by Charter that its "complying fully" with the franchise requirements, which allows them to hire technicians from other areas. 

In a statement, spokesman John Bonomo said, "Charter is meeting its franchise obligations with regard to the use of contractors. The contractors serving our customers during the strike are overwhelmingly from New York City. However, the franchise clearly allows the company to use contractors from elsewhere, which we are doing."

By Rebecca Gold