CWA to Stump Against Altice-Cablevision

Says Debt Will Translate to Downsizing, Raises Other Issues

The Communications Workers of America, which has had a contentious relationship with MSO Cablevision Systems in New York, said it will testify against the the MSO's proposed acquisition by European telco Altice around the state over the next several weeks.

CWA has already registered its unhappiness with the deal with the Federal Communications Commission, suggesting the debt involved in the transaction — $8.6 billion — will lead to downsizing, and pointing to issues with contractors and outsourcing.

"This level of debt will require such deep cost cutting at Cablevision that both staffing and network investments are likely to suffer, to the detriment of both consumers and workers," the CWA said in announcing its full-court press against the deal.

“Altice’s potential acquisition of Cablevision would be detrimental to the company, its workforce and its customers,” said Dennis Trainor, vice president of Communications Workers of America, District 1.

The CWA said it will be weighing in at hearings in Peekskill, N.Y. Jan. 26; the New York State Supreme Court in The Bronx on Jan. 27; and Nassau County and Suffolk County in Cablevision's home base of Long Island, both Feb. 2.

Altice and Cablevision have dismissed the CWA opposition, saying it "relies on selective press accounts, mischaracterization and surmise to impugn the transaction and advance its own narrow interests."

The merger partners said the deal structuring is sound and with demonstrable consumer benefits, including network investment. It also points out that some of the debt in the deal is actually the restructuring of existing Cablevision debt.