Jan 26, 2012
Brooklyn Cablevision workers, supported by faith and community leaders, are voting today for CWA representation.
At last night's CWA national town hall meeting, Anthony Guerrier, a Cablevision worker in Brooklyn working for CWA representation, told the 6,000 CWAers listening that "we're optimistic that by this time tomorrow we'll be able to say that we are proud members of CWA Local 1109."
As the CWA newsletter went to press, voting was underway.
"When we filed for election, an overwhelming majority of our 280 workers signed cards. Despite the company's relentless campaign of fear and misinformation, we are standing strong, Guerrier said. "We just want what's fair. Cablevision's CEO made $28 million last year, and our wages aren't even keeping up with inflation. We all want to take care of our families in dignity."
The Brooklyn Cablevision workers have won tremendous support in New York City, with faith and community leaders, elected officials, union supporters and activists standing up for the workers' right to a union.
On Martin Luther King Day, Rev. Al Sharpton led a march and rally outside Madison Square Garden, which is owned by Cablevision CEO James Dolan. Occupy Wall Street activists and elected officials from across the city joined in, standing with Cablevision workers and their fight for a union.
"Dr. King fought side by side with workers, raising his voice in unity with theirs. We need to stand with the Cablevision 99 percent as they seek the opportunity to vote for a union in an intimidation and harassment-free environment," Sharpton said.
Check out this video of the rally.
A few days later, Rev. Sharpton led another march and rally in Brooklyn, calling on the company to stop its union busting and respect workers' right to organize.
The 280 Cablevision workers earn about one-third less than cable workers at competing companies. They've faced non-stop harassment and intimidation, they've been forced to attend high-pressure, anti-union "captive audience" meetings, and have faced growing pressure from managers in one-on-one meetings.
New York City Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio had requested that Cablevision management hold a public debate on the merits of union representation. That request was rejected. DeBlasio and a group of elected officials, including Speaker Chris Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, Minority Leader John Sampson, and Sharpton also sent a letter to Cablevision CEO Dolan, requesting a meeting to ask the company to allow the workers to organize without fear of being intimidated or harassed.