Cablevision, in a bitter labor dispute over the firing of workers in Brooklyn, on Thursday asked a federal appellate court to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from pursuing acti0n on complaints against the company.
In a petition for writ of mandamus and a motion for a stay filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, the cable giant said that the NLRB lacks “a valid quorum and thus has no authority to take action.” It cites recent court rulings over the validity of President Obama’s recess appointments to the labor board.
“Two different federal courts of appeals — the D.C. Circuit and the Third Circuit — have ruled that the NLRB lacks a valid quorum and thus has no authority to take action,” Cablevision said in a statement. “Yet the NLRB is ignoring these rulings, and continues to file unfair labor practice charges against Cablevision — charges that are baseless but will nonetheless require that the Company — not to mention the taxpayers — devote overwhelming amounts of time and money to participate in a lengthy, pointless trial.”
The dispute stems from the Communications Workers of America’s contention that Cablevision illegally fired 22 workers who sought to join the union. They have since been rehired, but the company is still facing labor violations, and the union and the company have been engaged in a contract dispute.
The administrative trial is scheduled to begin in July.
In a statement, CWA said that “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. Just more of the same from a company that seems to think that the law doesn’t apply to them, and leaves workers and customers behind.”