Cablevision Reaches Bargaining Agreement With CWA

After a three-year battle with the union, Cablevision Systems said it has reached a collective bargaining agreement with the Communications Workers of America, representing about 260 technicians in Brooklyn, N.Y. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a brief statement, Cablevision said the agreement is subject to ratification by its Brooklyn workers.

 “The collective bargaining agreement for our Brooklyn employees is balanced and fair and was hard-fought by both sides over many months,” Cablevision said in a statement. “With this agreement, our focus in Brooklyn will continue to be providing the best connectivity and service to Cablevision customers.”

Workers in Brooklyn voted for union representation in 2012, which touched off what has been a testy relationship between the CWA and the company. Even in announcing the bargaining agreement, Cablevision noted that nearly 15,000 of its other employees “enjoy a direct relationship with the company.”

The CWA said in a statement that details of the tentative agreement were being withheld pending a presentation to its members, which will occur at a ratification meeting for the contract scheduled for Saturday evening (Feb. 14).

“After a 37-month battle to win a contract, CWA looks forward to opening a new chapter in its relationship with Cablevision,” the union said in a statement.

Cablevision and the union have been at odds ever since Brooklyn workers voted for union representation in 2012. In 2013, the dispute heated up after Cablevision dismissed 22 workers for what the company said was their refusal to work and what the union claimed was tied directly to their union activities. Cablevision reinstated those workers shortly after they were first terminated.

In December, a federal administrative law judge ruled that Cablevision had violated some labor laws in its dealings with the union, but found the cable operator not guilty of a key charge that at the time the company hoped could help it in the fight to oust the union.

Apparently, both sides determined it was better to return to the negotiating table rather than keep the fight going.