For Immediate Release: April 2, 2013
Contact: Candice Johnson, CWA Communications, 202-434-1168, [email protected]
Communications Workers of America Thanks Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) for Standing with Brooklyn Cablevision Workers, Highlighting Weakened NLRB By Senate Republicans
Last week, Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) took to the House floor to make the case that a recent labor struggle between Cablevision and some its Brooklyn workers is part of a larger, coordinated anti-worker strategy that ties obstruction by Senate Republicans to the evisceration of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), eliminating any pretense of protection for workers organizing unions in the United States.
Representative Pocan (D-WI) on the House floor: “That [Cablevision] is just one problem that we’ve seen with attempts to bust unions. And the reason we’ve seen that is because of a provision that has also happened just recently with this Senate in blocking appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the board that oversees what’s going on.
“The reason why Cablevision had that confidence in treating its workers so poorly is because it was part of a strategy of illegal firings and a lockout of workers that stems from larger recent judicial rulings in Washington DC, as part of a larger anti-worker strategy.
“The real problem we have is that we can’t get the real appointments to the NLRB that the President has tried to make, because the Senate has refused to place the people.”
Rep. Pocan’s comments serve as an important reminder of not only the struggles of the Brooklyn workers, but also the larger implications for workers if Senate Republicans continue to block nominees to the NLRB. Unless the Senate can confirm President Obama’s nominations and return the NLRB to full strength, the agency remains unable to fulfill its role as a check against bad actor corporations looking to exploit weakened labor protections. A recent Huffington Post pieceoutlined the uphill battle miners are already facing without the protections enforced by the NLRB.
“We thank Rep. Pocan not only for standing up for the Brooklyn Cablevision workers, but also highlighting the greater costs of partisan obstruction in the U.S. Senate,” says Shane Larson, CWA Legislative Director. “Deliberative attempts by Senate Republicans to gut the National Labor Relations Board is paralyzing our democracy and silencing the voices of American workers across the country.“