Cablevision sues CWA for defamation over Brooklyn service speed claims

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has sued the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 1 and Local 1109 in New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, for what the cable MSO asserts are “patently false and defamatory claims” that Cablevision's Internet service in Brooklyn is consistently about 25% slower than that provided in the nearby Bronx.

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) has sued the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 1 and Local 1109 in New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, for what the cable MSO asserts are “patently false and defamatory claims” that Cablevision's Internet service in Brooklyn is consistently about 25% slower than that provided in the nearby Bronx.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Cablevision workers in Brooklyn voted early last year to unionize via the CWA, while the MSO’s employees in the Bronx declined to take the same step. The CWA has implied that the difference in service levels is Cablevision’s way of punishing its Brooklyn workers, according to media reports (see, for example, here).

Cablevision says the CWA has embarked on a smear campaign beginning this past October. According to the suit, this campaign includes what a Cablevision press statement termed “the widespread dissemination of intentionally false and malicious information” concerning the difference in service levels offered to Brooklyn customers versus those enjoyed in the Bronx.

"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,” Cablevision asserts. “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."

Cablevision also complains that CWA members have protested at a Cablevision cancer research fundraising event, unleashed “robocalls” to Cablevision customers which the company claims offered distorted information about the cable MSO’s policies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and “misled” government officials and customers.


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