Employees extend talks with Time Warner Cable

WARREN —  Union officials at Time Warner Cable agreed to put off a strike threat and allow negotiations to continue.

Members of Teamsters Local 377 had planned to strike today if a contract agreement wasn’t reached, but union leaders approved a 30-day extension of talks Friday.

Bob Bernat, secretary-treasurer of Local 377, said the sides reached agreement on all but three issues. The issues remaining are significant, however.

The first is wages. Bernat said many of the 30 workers in the union are making $9 or $10 an hour, while the highest paid person makes $20 an hour. Pay is so low for some workers that the company has helped workers apply for public assistance for their families, he said.

Just as important as wages, however, is subcontracting, he said. Time Warner wants to remove language in the contract that limits its ability to send work to subcontractors, he said. The union workers install and maintain cable lines.

The third remaining issues is medical leave of absence. The union’s five-year contract expired Wednesday.

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