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April 21, 2018
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Supreme Court Rules on NLRB Hearing
Updated On: Jul 16, 2013

Breaking: Supreme Court Rejects Cablevision's Bid to Stop NLRB Hearing

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant Cablevision Systems Corp.'s request for a stay of the National Labor Relations Board hearing set to begin July 8 in Manhattan.
Cablevision's actions are clear evidence of why workers need a fully functional NLRB and why the Senate must confirm all five of President Obama's nominations to the Board. It's the only agency that can enforce federal labor law for 80 million workers.
"The Senate minority and their U.S. Chamber of Commerce supporters don't want a functional NLRB. That's why it's up to the Senate majority, to change the rules if necessary, so that these and other nominations can have an up or down vote," said CWA President Larry Cohen.
Since a federal appeals court earlier this year created uncertainty over recess appointments made by President Obama, including two members to the NLRB, companies like Cablevision have been challenging the authority of the Board. Cablevision has gone beyond that, first claiming that the NLRB regional offices in Brooklyn and New York had no authority, then seeking the stay to block the proceedings altogether. The U.S. Supreme Court said it will review the federal appeals court case regarding recess appointments in its next term.
Since 2012, when 280 Cablevision workers voted to join CWA, Local 1109, the company has engaged in a war against workers who only want a union voice as federal labor law provides. The company uses every tactic possible to intimidate the Brooklyn technicians, putting relentless pressure on workers who want their union. But the Cablevision workers are standing strong.
Earlier this year, Cablevision illegally locked out and fired 22 technicians, then was forced to rehire them after CWA filed NLRB charges and elected officials and community supporters rallied around the workers. Brooklyn technicians are entitled to back pay but so far Cablevision is refusing to follow the law.
Cablevision also was cited by an NLRB regional director for refusing to bargain fairly and for offering higher pay and other financial incentives to non-union Bronx technicians to convince workers to drop their support for the union.
"If this can happen in New York, there's no labor law in America," Cohen said. "It's what Cablevision wants and what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants. We're looking to the Senate Democratic majority to confirm these nominees. We don't want to be the first generation of working Americans since 1935 to not have the protections of the NLRB."

Key Senators Hear from Us on NLRB Day of Action

CWA activists and allies rallied outside their senators' offices and delivered petitions with thousands of signatures, calling on the Senate to approve all five nominations to the National Labor Relations Board. Even bigger: CWAers, friends and family made thousands of phone calls from worksites, meetings and their homes calling on their Senators to get these nominations done.
Rallies and actions were held in 26 states, with CWA members joined by Sierra Club, Blue Green Alliance, Jobs with Justice, and AFL-CIO activists. At last count, 3,350 letters were delivered to Senate offices in seven states, and meetings with senators and staff were held in states including Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin and others.
Worksite leafleting and our phone campaign went into overdrive, with key Senate offices receiving thousands of calls this week. In states where senators already have committed to supporting an up-or-down vote on the nominations, or where senators won't support working families at all, activists focused on messages to Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders like Senator Chuck Schumer.
Some highlights:

  • New York CWAers made more than 800 phone calls to Senator Chuck Schumer.

  • CWA’s Legislative Political Action Team in Ohio, with State AFL-CIO leaders and activists, delivered 400 handwritten letter to Senator Robert Portman.

  • In Indiana, LPAT members delivered boxes of letters to Senator Joe Donnelly.

  • In Michigan, CWA activists were joined by workers at Panera, who are in their own fight for fairness.

  • Allies like U.S. Action, Citizen Action of NY, Working Family Party and others are emailing their members and urging them to contact their Senators about the need for an up or down vote on the five NLRB nominees.

In Washington, DC, former CNN employee Jimmy Suissa told his story in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Nearly a decade ago, CNN illegally terminated a subcontracting agreement with Team Video Services, whose employees were represented by NABET-CWA.
"I was pushed out because I was a union leader," said Suissa, who still doesn't have his job or back pay despite a NLRB administrative law judge ruling in his favor.
We're not stopping now. We'll still have time to make leaflet more worksites, make sure the public knows what's at stake and make more phone calls. Our senators, especially the Democratic majority, need to hear from us.

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