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Cablevision asks court to stop NLRB cases

Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage. (Nov. 19,

Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage. (Nov. 19, 2010) Credit: Bloomberg News

Cablevision Systems Corp. Thursday asked a federal appeals court to stop the National Labor Relations Board from pursuing cases against the company that involve unionizing cable technicians in the Bronx and Brooklyn.


In papers filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Cablevision said the labor board's actions are invalid because it lacks a quorum of members confirmed by the U.S. Senate.


In January 2012, President Barack Obama appointed three people to the five-member NLRB while Congress was in recess after his previous appointments had been blocked. The appeals court in Washington and another in Philadelphia ruled the NLRB lacks a quorum. Last month, the Obama administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.


More than 300 cases could be nullified, including those involving Bethpage-based Cablevision and the Communications Workers of America.


The NLRB has scheduled an administrative hearing in July on two complaints it brought against Cablevision about an unsuccessful union organizing drive in the Bronx and negotiations for the first union contract for about 280 technicians in Brooklyn.


Cablevision spokeswoman Sarah Chaikin said Thursday two federal courts have found the NLRB "has no authority to take action. Yet, the NLRB is ignoring these rulings and continues to prosecute various unfair labor practice charges against Cablevision -- charges that are baseless."


Bob Master, a director of District 1 of the CWA, said, "Rather than trying to make their case against charges of anti-union behavior before a neutral law judge, Cablevision has now resorted to trying to undermine the authority of the federal agency which reviewed the evidence and issued the charges."


The Dolan family owns a controlling interest in Cablevision, which owns Newsday.

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