New York City Council sides with labor against Cablevision

Forty-two members of the New York City Council urged Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Anne Roest to “proceed with extreme caution” before awarding any contract to Cablevision. The company is seeking to repurpose the city’s phone booths into a Wi-Fi network.

The reason is simple. As Speed Matters reported throughout 2013, Cablevision has systematically sought to subvert union elections, In fact, in April we noted that, “The National Labor Relations Board found that Bronx, New York installation workers at Cablevision were subjected to an ugly company campaign against the Communications Workers of America. Cablevision alternately threatened and bribed workers to vote against joining CWA.”

In 2012 in Brooklyn, though, 282 Cablevision technicians and dispatchers in Brooklyn made history by voting 180-86 to join Local 1109 of the Communications Workers of America. Workers were forced to attend threatening, high-pressure, anti-union "captive audience" meetings – orchestrated by the notorious union-busting law firm of Jackson Lewis LLP.

Workers fought back with the help of CWA and their own courage. And this brilliant rap video, Dear, Mr. Dolan, aimed at the Cablevision CEO.

In their October 8 letter, the city council members remembered Cablevision’s tactics. In advising the city, they cited the basic rules for city franchisees, which required:

“franchisee [to] recognize the right of its employees to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing in accordance with applicable law. Franchisee shall recognize and deal with the representatives duly designated or selected by the majority of its employees for the purpose of collective bargaining…Franchisee shall not dominate, interfere with, participate in the management or control of, or give financial support to any union or association of its employees.”

Clearly, Cablevision has not.

Bob Master, CWA District 1 political director said, “New York City's business, by law, cannot go to companies which violate the collective bargaining rights of their workers, not to mention engage in blatantly discriminatory practices.”

Speed Matters supports the action of the New York City councilmembers and CWA.

Cablevision threatened, bribed workers to stay non-union (Speed Matters, Apr. 10, 2014)

Brooklyn Cablevision workers vote for CWA (Speed Matters, Jan 27, 2012)

Dear Mr. Dolan
(CWA video, Aug. 27, 2013)

City Council fires warning shot at Cablevision (Crain’s NY Business, Oct. 10, 2014)