Adelphia Workers Eye Unionizing

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Communications Workers of America representatives reported a substantial
uptick in inquiries regarding unionization from Adelphia Communications Corp.
employees since the operator's financial irregularities came to light.

Three National Labor Relations Board-supervised union-certification votes are
scheduled for September alone, and the CWA anticipates organizing more in the
near future, a spokesman said.

Some 300 call-center workers will vote on joining the union Sept. 5 and 6 in
West Palm Beach, Fla. Later in the month, workers in Cleveland and Rutland, Vt.,
will vote.

Adelphia officials did not return calls about unionization efforts.

Labor unions are viewed as creditors under the U.S. bankruptcy code because
of their role in enforcing the obligations within collective-bargaining
agreements. Unions argue that even under Chapter 11 reorganization, management
can't cut wages and benefits without first negotiating with worker
representatives.

CWA tried to gain a seat on the Adelphia bankruptcy committee's creditors
group, but it was unsuccessful, given the magnitude of the debts owed to
others.

Several Adelphia franchises are already union shops: Ashland, Ky.; Duryea,
Pa.; Huntington and Morgantown, W. Va.; Martinsville and Norton, Va.;
Portsmouth, Ohio; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Utica and West Seneca, N.Y.

State College, Pa., and Cheekowaga, N.Y., are currently bargaining, according
to the union. Santa Monica's contract will expire Oct.
31.

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