Supreme Court denies Cablevision's NLRB stay request

Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage. The U.S.

Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage. The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday declined a Cablevision Systems Corp. request seeking a stay of National Labor Relations Board proceedings in light of a recent court action related to presidential appointments to the board. (Nov. 19, 2010) (Credit: Bloomberg News)

The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday declined a Cablevision Systems Corp. request seeking a stay of National Labor Relations Board proceedings in light of a recent court action related to presidential appointments to the board.

The Bethpage-based company wanted a stay after the court decided last week to hear a case that challenges three of President Barack Obama's appointments to the board, which has cast into doubt whether it had a quorum to conduct business. The stay application was denied without comment by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The case the justices will hear in the court's next term, starting in October, concerns the ability of the president to make appointments without Senate approval. So-called recess appointments have been increasingly used over the past several decades by presidents from both major political parties to appoint a candidate who would likely have trouble winning U.S. Senate confirmation.

The Cablevision dispute was prompted by a complaint issued by an NLRB regional director in the case alleging that Cablevision refused to engage in meaningful bargaining, offered nonunionized workers financial incentives that were not given to a small group in Brooklyn that is represented by the Communications Workers of America and discharged pro-union employees.

A small number of the company's cable installers voted to unionize in January 2012. Cablevision and the union have been arguing over the issue before the board ever since.

Cablevision says that the NLRB blocked an employee vote on whether they still wanted to be represented by the union. The company said in its court filing that the board has forced the company "to face groundless allegations of unlawful conduct."

Referring to the NLRB appointments, Cablevision spokeswoman Sarah Chaikin said that the Obama administration "bypassed Congress in order to stack the NLRB in favor of Big Labor." Although the chief justice rejected the stay application, the company said it is confident the Supreme Court will find in the case it has agreed to hear that the appointments were invalid, which "will put a stop to the NLRB's evasion of the law."

Bob Master of the Communications Workers of America said in a statement that the Cablevision employees "remain willing to negotiate a fair contract, which would cost the company less than all the lawyers they are hiring to bust the union."

Cablevision owns Newsday.

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