Strike Blamed For Vanadalism, Cable Service Outages

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were facing criticism Monday for taking part in a rally supporting striking cable workers.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, critics said the politicians are ignoring customer complaints.

Thousands of union workers rallied in both Downtown Brooklyn and Foley Square in Lower Manhattan in Monday, in support of the striking Spectrum cable workers.

Cuomo and de Blasio are offering fiery rhetoric.

“It’s about respect and fairness,” Cuomo said.

But the residents and businesses on Austin Street in Forest Hills, Queens want fairness and respect too. It is one of many neighborhoods hit by massive outages in their cable, internet and phone services when the workers walked off the job on March 28.

There have been about 100 attacks on the fiber optics system – acts of vandalism that have left thousands and thousands inconvenienced since the strike began.

“I own an online business and I own the retail store,” said business owner Anthony Velez.

Velez owns Bagriculture, which was unable to conduct business when the service went out. He was also unable to access his security system, and he is furious that Cuomo and de Blasio are supporting the workers and ignoring his plight.

“I don’t think that shows the right ethics that we would look for in our mayor, or a governor,” he said.

He said politicians treat business owners as “little invisible people.”

“I don’t think there’s a lot of people who care about small business owners,” Velez said.

And he is not alone in his frustration with the mayor and the governor.

“They’ll march with anybody who can vote,” said Stan Bentz. “They may not believe in what they’re doing.”

“I assume there’s some kind of money involved,” said Bareburger manager Adam Bariando. “As a person who campaigned talking about the people; the working class, I would expect him to side with us.”

Kramer also tried to ask the mayor what he would say to people who do not have cable service. De Blasio did not acknowledge the question.

A spokesman for the company pointed out that as of Monday, the cables have been cut 137 times since the strike began. The fiber optics went out only five times before that.

Spectrum workers said they are striking over wage and pension benefits.

Comments (5)
  1. Here on Long Island, Optimum Online shuts off every night from 12:30 AM to 1:30 AM. What’s up with that? They blame our modems, but that is too much coincidence.

  2. Ma Sala says:

    Marcia Kramer is in the pocket of Corporate Greed…Garbage report

  3. I just want to comment on a few things that were said regarding this strike. Someone said they were “furious that Cuomo and De Blasio are supporting the workers and ignoring his plight,” another person said, “as a person who campaigned talking about the people; the working class, I would expect him to side with us”.

    Working class people?? Your plight? What about the people who haven’t been to work since March? Who are WORKING CLASS PEOPLE!? What about their PLIGHT? Why is it that no one cares about their rights? Are they not working class people? They need the money and work just as much and hard as the next person.

    Customers want to complain, and they have every right to but the real corruption here is SPECTRUM’s CEO, Tom Rutledge! Why are the consumers blaming everything on the people who are on strike then blaming the company? They are in fact liable to provide a service they pay for, not the workers! So they should call them up and complain about not getting what they pay for! “Superior, reliable, consistent services that deliver value – that’s our focus.” That’s a quote from their website. Nice Job Tom Rutledge! Maybe that will help them realize that they need experienced workers who have always taken care of their customers rather than hiring contractors or temp workers to keep from giving these workers what they deserve.

    In regards to Cuomo and De Blasio supporting them, I am thankful to have some kind of support sent their way because in reality no one really cares about them! All they want is what is rightfully theirs! A fair wage and their pension! Some of them have been with the company for over 20 years and to take, rather STEAL away what they worked so hard for is what is unethical!

    You have to ask yourself what is SPECTRUM doing for their customers! You can’t be upset with the workers who are trying to feed their families because your cable isn’t working to your expectations! That’s all on Spectrum and that’s why you should be upset with!

    They aren’t asking for the impossible! They are asking for what they deserve! Marcia Kramer CBS New York

  4. “As a person who campaigned talking about the people; the working class, I would expect him to side with us.”

    That is exactly what they did. Union men and women are the working class. They stood against corporate greed.

  5. Lisa Palmer says:

    What garbage reporting! Instead of focusing on 1700 hard working New Yorkers who have been on strike for over 6 months, CBS chooses to tell the stories of a few business owners inconvenienced for a short amount of time as result of Spectrum outages. And to insinuate that the striking workers had anything to do with that outage with absolutely no evidence is outrageous. Had this “reporter” actually interviewed the men and women standing up against corporate greed, she might have learned that one of their issues is the outdated equipment and system wide problems with Spectrum cable. A system which has not been upgraded in over 20 years! Your jobs as a local NY Station is to tell the whole story and you definitely failed on that. I believe the union members, all 1700 of them will be finding another news channel to watch…both ABC, and NBC definitely did a better job than CBS!

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