Coalition puts pressure on Cablevision
by Andrew Pavia
Jan 09, 2013 | 3751 views | 0 0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cablevision isn’t scoring well with customers and workers in Brooklyn. The Communication Workers of America made some noise and brought the issues to light a t a press conference on Thursday, January 3.

Standing with elected officials and community organizers, CWA released the results of an in-person survey of 700 Brooklyn Cablevision customers, in which nearly 25 percent rated their service as poor or terrible. Only 37 percent of customers described the service as favorable.

One of the most telling numbers, according to CWA, was the 90 percent of those surveyed feel that Cablevision charges too much.

During the press conference it was announced that the survey provided a glimpse, overall, into the homes of Brookylnites who are no longer fans of the cable and internet provider. The CWA stated, “The survey also documented the poor conditions of Cablevision equipment and lines throughout the borough that pose a danger to residents and workers,” read a statement by CWA.

Chris Shelton, vice president of CWA District 1, focused on problems regarding the treatment of workers. In January 2012, 282 Brooklyn technicians voted to become the first union workers at the cable company.

“After Brooklyn workers voted to become the first unionized workers in the company, Cablevision gave everybody but them raises and threatened to withhold new technology from them,” Shelton claimed.

The CWA claims that since the vote Cablevision has refused to offer workers a “fair” contract. CWA claims that Cablevision gave a pay raise, between $2 to $9 an hour, to its technicians, except those in Brooklyn who voted to unionize.

“All we want is what is fair,” said Cablevision technician Jerome Thompson. “To be treated with dignity and respect and to earn a living wage for our families. We’re tired of waiting for a fair contract and being retaliated against for standing up for our right.”

CWA is also claiming that Cablevision is punishing Brooklyn customers because of the union vote. It claims Internet service provided by Cablevision in Brooklyn is 25 percent slower than the same service in the Bronx.

“It’s clear Cablevision has also left Brooklyn customers technologically behind with slower Internet speeds and dangerous plant conditions,” said Shelton. “Refusing to provide workers with a fair contract they deserve and giving Brooklyn customers second-class service, all in the name of corporate greed is simply wrong.”

“We need answers about quality of service Brooklyn customers are getting,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “And we need Cablevision to do right by its workers and negotiate a fair contract in good faith.”

“This phony report is just another example of the CWA union making false and defamatory statements about Cablevision, and attempting to mislead the public through deceptive and illegal tactics, which is why we are suing them. Given Cablevision's long history of local investments and job creation in Brooklyn and across the tri-state region, it is unfortunate that public officials would involve themselves in the CWA union's obvious and desperate campaign against our company.”

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