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Cablevision Files Lawsuit Against CWA Union District 1 And Local 1109 In New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County

Stocks in this article: CVC

BETHPAGE, N.Y., Dec. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) filed a lawsuit today against the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 1 and Local 1109 (collectively the "CWA Union"), in New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, for making patently false and defamatory claims about the speed and quality of Cablevision's Internet service in Brooklyn, New York.

Commenting on the lawsuit and the CWA Union, Cablevision offered the following statement:

"The CWA Union has acted in a deceptive and libelous manner with the deliberate intention of harming Cablevision, misleading our customers and injuring the reputation of our company. It is outrageous that the CWA and its Local 1109, which represents a small number of employees in one Cablevision facility in Brooklyn, would resort to these actions as part of a malicious campaign to intimidate our company. This is an insult to our Brooklyn employees and our customers, and we are taking legal action to ensure that this illegal behavior stops."

The complaint asserts that since October 2012, the CWA Union has been engaged in an unlawful campaign to discredit and libel Cablevision and its business.  The centerpiece of its campaign has been the widespread dissemination of intentionally false and malicious information about Cablevision, most particularly about Cablevision's internet speeds.  The CWA has ignored repeated requests to cease and desist with these illegal actions.

Cablevision's lawsuit asserts that the CWA Union has made and continues to make false and defamatory statements to the media, government officials, directly to Cablevision subscribers, and to the public through their websites that "internet speeds for Cablevision customers in Brooklyn are approximately 25% slower than for Cablevision customers in the Bronx" and that "speeds are slower in Brooklyn than the rest of the city."  The CWA Union has made additional statements in the media and elsewhere that Cablevision is purposefully providing an inferior service to its Brooklyn customers.  

The CWA Union's statements are demonstrably false, malicious and without foundation based on the following key facts:

  • Cablevision in fact delivers services over identically provisioned, equivalent infrastructure to both Brooklyn and the Bronx.
  • The FCC, in the government's most definitive measurement of broadband speed delivered by Internet service providers, concluded in a report from July 2012 that Cablevision provides superior Internet service, delivering faster speeds than advertised across the entire day and peak weeknight hours.
  • The CWA Union's purported testing of Cablevision's Internet is based on flawed and unreliable data collected outside of Cablevision's network.

According to the complaint, in addition to its libelous statements about Cablevision's services, the CWA Union has also:

  • Staged a protest in an attempt to disrupt a cancer research fundraising event sponsored by Cablevision
  • Exploited Hurricane Sandy by placing misleading "robocalls" to storm victims
  • Disseminated untruthful statements about the company to government officials
  • Misled Cablevision customers

The CWA Union represents a small number of employees in only one Cablevision facility. Cablevision enjoys an excellent relationship with its employees company-wide.  In fact, the last time Cablevision workers voted on union representation, in late June, technicians in the Bronx voted 123-41 against the CWA Union and in favor of maintaining their direct relationship with Cablevision.

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