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A Federal Administrative Law Judge ruled late last week that Cablevision and its CEO James Dolan broke multiple labor laws in an attempt to stop workers in Brooklyn and the Bronx from unionizing.
CWA will now begin the process to get New York City to bring the corporation into compliance with its cable franchise and, if necessary, declare it in default of the franchise for violations of the labor rights provisions of the agreement. The franchise requires the company to comply with Federal labor law.
The ruling stemmed from charges that two separate National Labor Relations Board regional offices authorized against the company in April 2013: in Brooklyn, for illegally firing 22 workers, bargaining in bad faith, and spying on workers, and in the Bronx, for illegally intimidating, harassing and essentially bribing workers during a union representation election.
"Finally, the NLRB has spoken in an unprecedented 300 page decision that outlines the deliberate law breaking of James Dolan. In any other jurisdiction he would face arrest," CWA President Larry Cohen said. "Yet, based on his past behavior, Mr. Dolan likely believes his personal fortune and family control of Cablevision will allow him and Cablevision to avoid any real penalties. Since the trial, Jim Dolan and Cablevision have escalated their attacks on their employees and their union. The NLRB needs to take immediate action. The City and State of New York need to treat Cablevision and all Dolan family controlled entities like the major law breaker that is documented extensively in this decision."
The long-awaited decision is a major boost to the Brooklyn Cablevision workers' campaign for a fair and just contract. The decision comes after a trial concluded in December of 2013. Just last month, the NLRB issued a third sweeping federal complaint against Cablevision, including citing Dolan specifically, for new violations of federal labor laws at its Brooklyn unit.
Cablevision was charged with illegally firing Jerome Thompson, a pro-union worker, conducting an illegal sham poll of workers following CEO James Dolan's in-person visit designed to intimidate employees with a highly prejudicial speech, and illegally implementing changes in working conditions without bargaining with CWA. A trial on these charges is expected to begin shortly and CWA is confident that Cablevision will be found guilty of these charges as well.