“Somehow the working man became the enemy of the city,” said Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams to a crowd gathered on the steps of City Hall. The group rallied on Tuesday, February 26th on behalf of the 22 Cablevision workers wrongly fired for their union affiliations. Elected officials, community and labor groups including UnitedNY, NYCC and CWA gathered this morning for a press conference after weeks of rallies and protests calling for the rehiring of the dismissed employees. Despite long-term attempted bargaining and negotiations between Cablevision management and workers to reach an agreement for a fairer contract prior to firings, management had been continuously dismissive of workers’ complaints and concerns. Since the initial firings, five workers have been reinstated but the remaining employees have yet to get their jobs back.
“If they want a franchise to operate in New York City, then they have to rehire those workers today!” stated Councilman Brad Lander to the energized crowd. “This is about not treating one particular sect differently from the other and this is really about respecting the right to organize,” said Councilwoman Letitia James about Cablevision’s notorious union-busting history and reputation for retaliating against unionized employees. A hearing scheduled after the press conference would go towards deciding the fate of the fired workers.