December 5, 2013
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—A corporate pig debuted on the first day of actions organized by a coalition of organized labor and community organizations outside Cablevision board member Vincent Tese’s home on East 74th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Watch Video of Corporate Pig
Union members with CWA District 1 said that Tese has refused to resolve a long-standing and costly labor dispute with Cablevision technicians in Brooklyn and they hope Tese’s neighbors, after seeing the pig, might nudge him to resolve the squabble.
This week is New Day New York where a number of different actions will be taken by a variety of union members and community activists to bring attention to the plight of low-wage workers, growing income inequality and the lack of new contracts for public sector employees.
Tim Dubnau, Organizing Director for CWA District 1 (a participating coalition member), said that after almost two years when Cablevision workers voted to join the union in January 2012, Cablevision continues to violate basic labor laws.
Dubnau noted that union members would also be visiting the homes of other Cablevision members if they fail to sign a labor contract for nearly 300 cable technicians.
“All we’re asking for is that the Brooklyn technicians get the same wage rate as other Cablevision technicians. That’s what this fight is about. Tese has to understand that unless we get a contract, he’s going to be visited by us on more than one occasion,” said Dubnau.
According to Dubnau, Cablevision discouraged technicians at other facilities such as in the Bronx from joining the union by increasing their wages of $2 to $9 an hour, contributing to a wage rate that’s 17 percent less for the Brooklyn technicians than other Cablevision technicians.
As the protest developed outside Tese’s home, Cablevision officials heard complaints of labor law violations during a NLRB hearing nearby.
“The NLRB has accused them of bad faith bargaining, illegally firing 22 workers and spying on them. The trial is going on as we speak. The message we’re sending to Tese and the rest is that we are never going away until we get a contract,” Dubnau said.
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