BROOKLYN — Rev. Al Sharpton joined Cablevision workers and supporters in a march and rally in Brooklyn to call on Cablevision to stop union-busting and respect the workers’ right to form a union. The workers have withstood a blistering assault on their right to form a union over the past month as their Jan. 26 NLRB union election approaches.
“We have a right to decide for ourselves whether a union is the best way to ensure that we have safer working environments, better healthcare, and salaries that allow us to support our families,” said Cablevision worker Clarence Adams. “Cablevision needs to stop using fear and intimidation to keep us from exercising our rights.” This week we honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s memory by standing with the workers of Cablevision who are demanding respect and dignity and the right to join a union,” said Sharpton. “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.”On Dec. 2, according to the union, more than 75 percent of the 285 Brooklyn-based Cablevision workers submitted union cards to the federal National Labor Relations Board asking for union representation, which will be voted on in a Jan. 26 election. As soon as Cablevision’s management learned of the organizing drive, they began a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including forcing workers to attend high-pressure, anti-union “captive audience” meetings, and pressuring workers to oppose the union in one-on-one meetings with managers.
Cablevision refused to participate in a public debate on the merits of union representation, moderated by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. A delegation of elected officials, including de Blasio, Speaker Chris Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, Minority Leader John Sampson and others joined Sharpton in signing a letter sent to Cablevision CEO James Dolan, requesting a meeting to discuss ways in which the company can let the process unfold free of intimidation and harassment.