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CWA, IBEW Rip Comcast

Two unions took a Thanksgiving Eve shot at Comcast Corp., asserting that the company blatantly violates federal rules requiring maintenance of public records in each of its franchises that are "open and accessible."

The Communications Workers of America -- which recently lost five of its Comcast union shops in a decertification vote -- and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers called on the Federal Communications Commission to take immediate action against the cable company.

Comcast spokesman Chris Ellis said the MSO received the release late Wednesday and hadn't had time to analyze the unions' charges. A comment would be premature, he added.

The unions said in their complaint that union members and cable customers went to 225 separate Comcast locations in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Of those, 132 were in violation of FCC rules, the unions asserted. They said 116 franchises did not have a public file or would not produce it and 16 systems had incomplete information in the files.

Operators are required to keep a public file including, among other things, a record of the number of requests for broadcast time made during the previous two years by candidates or ballot-initiative backers.

The unions made the same canvass and filed the same criticisms in AT&T Broadband systems two years ago.