Aug 29, 2013
The "Tech 22" – Minee Smalls, Jaywalk, Chilo and DMAC – perform in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Cablevision workers from Brooklyn, invited by the National Action Network to perform at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, took the stage with their latest rap, "Dear Mr. Dolan: Where The Papers At?" It's a call for fairness from the company that has refused to bargain a fair contract for the 280 workers.
In January 2012, Cablevision workers in Brooklyn voted for their union, Communications Workers of America Local 1109. Since then, Cablevision management has thrown everything at this group:
- Illegally firing 22 workers earlier this year – they got their jobs back as a result of tremendous support from the community and elected officials.
- Paying techs in Brooklyn about 20 percent less than workers doing the same jobs in the Bronx and other locations to stop any more workers from choosing a union – this and other unfair labor practices are the focus of an NLRB hearing set to begin later this month.
- Refusing to fairly bargain with workers as the law requires.
In a Huffington Post piece, CWA President Larry Cohen pointed out that "for months, it was in doubt whether we would have labor law on Labor Day. Cablevision led the attacks on the National Labor Relations Board with full-page ads depicting board members, who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, as puppets of unions. But a bipartisan Senate voted to confirm all five board members and now Cablevision management will be held accountable once more for their actions."
He asked, "But as we celebrate Labor Day, the real question for Americans is what does fairness at work look like? Terror and recrimination from management like Cablevision's or, as the music demands, a fair deal for employees?" Read the rest of Cohen's post here.
Last Labor Day, the Cablevision workers released their first rap, "We Are the Union." Check it out here.
And read more about their fight for economic and social justice at www.thecablevision99.org.