Cablevision in Brooklyn votes to unionize with the CWA!
On Jan. 26th, 282 Brooklyn Cablevision technicians and dispatchers in Brooklyn voted to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 1109 in a union election administered by National Labor Relations Board, overcoming a vigorous anti-union campaign led by Cablevision. They are the first Cablevision workers to join a union. Cable TV is an overwhelmingly non-union industry while the traditional telecommunications industry remains highly unionized. "I've waited 13 years for this," said Cablevision technician Clarence Adams. "United, as members of Communications Workers of America, we now have the power to negotiate a fair contract that will give us the dignity and respect on the job we deserve." Cablevision workers are currently subject to arbitrary discipline and favoritism by managers, their health care coverage is inadequate, their workload is unreasonable and they have insufficient 401(k) retirement plans. Cablevision workers also make at least one-third less than Verizon workers, who are represented by CWA. "This is about my son, his future, and the future of the Cablevision 99%," said Cablevision technician Marlon Gayle. "We can now negotiate with management for a safer work environment, better healthcare, a more secure retirement and a salary that will allow us to support our families." Cablevision leads the Cable TV industry in "average monthly revenue per subscriber of $153.97." And outgoing COO Tom Rutledge made $28 million in 2010, about twice the combined pay of the 282 technicians in Brooklyn. Rutledge's $28 million is over 600 times the average technician's pay. Despite $361 million in profits, Cablevision paid no federal income taxes in 2010.