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Mon Feb 23, 2015, 06:58 PM

The Nation: How 262 Cable Technicians Defeated a Union-Busting Giant

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After a three-and-a-half-year struggle, workers in Cablevision’s first unionized shop finally win a contract.

Sarah Jaffe

Cablevision workers protest CEO James Dolan's efforts to disrupt support for their union. (Credit: Communications Workers of America)


Clarence Adams has spent a lot of time on his phone after work over the past three-and-a-half-years. The Cablevision technician, who has worked fifteen years at the cable and Internet provider, has been part of the organizing committee trying to form a union and get a contract for his Brooklyn division since 2011. At times, it seemed that the struggle would never end.

Cablevision has fired, then rehired, workers when the union put pressure on the company or the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stepped in. It has threatened the workers and attempted to decertify the union. It orchestrated false union votes and bestowed raises on all but the unionized workers. And it did all this—what City Council member Brad Lander described as a “brutal litany of unfair labor practices”— while dragging its feet at the bargaining table.

To keep spirits from flagging, shop stewards and committee members, like Adams, made phone calls to their colleagues nearly every day; this was all the more important since many of them spend their days alone, traveling from house to house installing and repairing cable. Adams told The Nation he also relied on those conversations to keep him inspired to fight on, as well. “They always had a good word, always tried to keep our spirits up,” he said. “We’ve gotten leadership from different people at different times. Everybody was just picking their moments.”

Those long hours and hard work have finally paid off for Adams and 261 of his coworkers in Brooklyn, who voted on February14 to accept their first union contract. That contract, according to the Communication Workers of America (CWA), will include raises of between 10 and 25 percent over the next two years for most of the workers, with some of them getting as much as 34 percent. They’ve also won just-cause provisions and grievance and arbitration procedures, as well as a few limitations on the company’s ability to use contract workers.

FULL story at link.

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Reply The Nation: How 262 Cable Technicians Defeated a Union-Busting Giant (Original post)
Omaha Steve Feb 2015 OP
Demeter Feb 2015 #1

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Feb 23, 2015, 07:19 PM

1. I'm not sure I could go that distance


but I would support anyone who tried. As it is, I already have too many impossible missions, and live in a state that's rapidly going downhill (Michigan) and has been since 1999....too much GOP!

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