Workers Join Citywide Fight for Good Jobs in the Cable TV Industry
On Friday August 24, 55 technicians at Vision Pro - a major Cablevision contractor in Brooklyn - voted to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 1109 in a union election administered by the National Labor Relations Board. The vote was 43 to 3.
The Vision Pro election is the third major victory for CWA 1109 in the Brooklyn cable industry. On July 20, workers at Falcon Communications, another Cablevision contractor, voted overwhelmingly to join the telecommunications union. This past January, 282 Brooklyn Cablevision workers became the first Cablevision technicians to join a union despite a campaign of harassment and intimidation by company management. Workers across the industry are fighting for fair pay and respect on the job.
"This is a great day for Vision Pro workers and for all cable technicians who want a voice on the job," said Deane Crawford, a Vision Pro technician. "We are proud to join our brothers and sisters at Falcon and Cablevision, because we are all fighting for the same thing: good jobs, respect and fairness."
"When we won one election, they called it a fluke. When we won two, they said it was a coincidence. But after three elections for union rights at Cablevision and its contractors, this is a movement that is not going away." said Chris Shelton, Vice President of the Communications Workers of America, District 1. "Workers across the city are demanding fair wages, better conditions and above all: respect."
This latest Brooklyn effort is a victory in the larger struggle for workers in the cable TV industry - and especially at Cablevision - to gain better working conditions. Only two to four percent of eligible cable TV workers are members of a union, compared to 90% in the traditional telecommunications industry. Despite news coverage on the increasing skill levels required of cable workers, their wages lag far behind those of traditional telecom workers. Wages for Cablevision contractors like Vision Pro are even lower.
"We are not going to stop until the cable industry in this city is "wall to wall" Union and all the workers receive wages and benefits that they can live on!" said CWA 1109 EVP and Organizing Director Chris Calabrese.