While a six-month strike by The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers against Charter Communications rages on, CBS said it has reached an early contract renewal agreement with the union, covering about 3,500 technicians across the country.
In a statement, CBS said the extended contract has been ratified by the affected workforce and will be effective Feb. 1, 2018 through April 21, 2021. The current IBEW agreement was set to expire on Jan. 31.
Major provisions of the new, multi-year contract include pay increases, increased benefit contributions and a path forward for new media.
“The skilled professionals of the IBEW are proud of our partnership with CBS, and this agreement reflects our joint commitment to good jobs and broadcasting excellence,” IBEW president Lonnie Stephenson said in a statement.
The IBEW represents CBS workers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami and Atlanta, in addition to supplying a skilled workforce for all events televised on CBS Sports and CBS News.
“We are very pleased to have reached this new agreement ahead of schedule,” said CBS chair and CEO Les Moonves in a statement. “Our new deal is indicative of the terrific working relationship and cooperation between CBS and the IBEW as well as our ongoing commitment to its highly skilled technicians.”
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About 1,700 Charter Communications workers in New York and New Jersey, members of IBEW Local 3, walked off the job on March 28, claiming they have lost benefits and endured shoddy working conditions ever since the cable company purchased Time Warner Cable in 2016. Charter has denied the accusations, adding that it has offered employees a 22% increase in wages – and up to 55% for some workers – as well as participation in a 401(k) plan with a dollar-for-dollar match up to 6% of eligible pay. On Sept. 18, IBEW workers participated in a rally in Brooklyn and Manhattan that included speeches by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.