The Progressive Caucus was among the 42 Council Members who recently penned a letter to the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Anne Roest.
Led by Progressives I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee and Brad Lander, City Council Deputy Leader for Policy, the letter highlights concerns regarding a recent Request for Proposal (RFP) for citywide Internet hotspots and Cablevision as a potention bidder.
“The provisions of this RFP, like other RFPs for franchises from the City of New York, contains language requiring the ‘franchisee [to] recognize the right of its employees to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing in accordance with applicable law. Franchisee shall recognize and deal with the representatives duly designated or selected by the majority of its employees for the purpose of collective bargaining…Franchisee shall not dominate, interfere with, participate in the management or control of, or give financial support to any union or association of its employees.’
There is strong reason for concern that Cablevision, Inc. may not meet the terms of these requirements. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a sweeping complaint against Cablevision in April, 2013, finding that the company had illegally fired 22 employees for engaging in protected union activity; had engaged in illegal “bad faith bargaining”; had put union employees under illegal surveillance; had illegally promised raises to workers who voted against unionization in the Bronx; and had otherwise coerced and discriminated against pro-union workers. A trial on this complaint was concluded in December 2013, and briefs from the parties were submitted on February 28, 2014. A ruling from the Administrative Law Judge is expected in the coming months.
We have expressed previously our concern that these actions may place Cablevision in violation of its current franchise agreement to provide cable TV service to sections of Brooklyn and the Bronx. In late February, 2013, the City Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises held a hearing to investigate the question of whether Cablevision was complying with the collective bargaining provisions of its cable TV franchise agreement with New York City, in the aftermath of the company’s illegal firing of 22 workers for protected union activity.” Full Letter
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