In what could be a blow to overall efforts to unionize cable workers, field techs at Cablevision Systems' Bronx, New York office soundly rejected efforts by the Communications Workers of America to organize their shop.
About 170 field service and audit technicians in the Bronx voted Thursday on whether to accept representation from the CWA, with 74% voting against joining the union.
"Cablevision employees have spoken loudly and clearly that they value their direct relationship with the company, especially in this period of change, growth and dynamic opportunity," Cablevision said in a statement. "Our Bronx employees gave this matter careful consideration and independently and overwhelmingly rejected the CWA's campaign of misinformation and false promises."
The vote came on the heels of the CWA withdrawing its petition to represent about 30 Outside Plant employees in the Bronx.
The CWA did not take the defeat lightly, claiming that threats and intimidation by Cablevision employees, including CEO James Dolan, led to the rejection of the union.
"Cablevision management, including Chief intimidator-in-Chief Dolan himself used threats, fear and lies to keep Bronx techs without any real voice on the job," said CWA District Regional Organizing Coordinator Tim Dubnau in an e-mail. "Management's illegal actions will soon be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board. It's a shame that the Cablevision 1% seems will stop at nothing to keep their hard working techs down."
The union has seven days to file an unfair labor practices petition with the NLRB and sources familiar with the matter said it is likely a filing will be made shortly.
Cablevision said in a statement that the union's allegations are false.
"Cablevision employees were in no way coerced, and this is just sour grapes from the CWA after an overwhelming loss in today's election," the company stated. "We are confident that any investigation would show just that."
The rejection comes after a major win for the union - 282 Cablevision techs and dispatchers in Brooklyn voted overwhelmingly in favor of CWA representation in January. It was the first time employees of the Bethpage, N.Y.-based MSO had been unionized in company history.