Press release from Business Wire
Cablevision Files Papers with the DC Circuit Seeking Immediate Suspension of NLRB Complaint Proceeding Against Cablevision
<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>Actions taken in light of recent DC Circuit and Third Circuit rulings that NLRB has no current authority to act</b></i> </p>
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Cablevision Files Papers with the DC Circuit Seeking Immediate Suspension of NLRB Complaint Proceeding Against Cablevision16:04 EDT Thursday, May 30, 2013
BETHPAGE, N.Y. (Business Wire) -- Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) today filed a petition for a writ of mandamus and a motion for a stay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, seeking an immediate suspension of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) pursuit of pending complaints against the Company relating to disputes with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The administrative trial in the case is currently scheduled to start in early July.
Commenting on its legal action, Cablevision offered the following statement:
“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. Yet the NLRB is ignoring these rulings, and continues to prosecute various 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. We are calling on the D.C. Circuit to instruct the NLRB that it is not free to ignore federal court rulings and to halt the NLRB's prosecution of Cablevision.”
The legal basis for Cablevision's filing is straightforward:
- The NLRB cannot act unless it possesses a quorum of three validly appointed members. As the D.C. Circuit recently held, the Board has lacked a quorum since at least January 3, 2012 and recent recess appointments by the President were not legal – Noel Canning v. NLRB decision. In addition, two weeks ago the Third Circuit Court similarly held that the purported appointment of former Board member Craig Becker in 2010 was invalid because the U.S. Constitution permits appointments only during intersession recesses of the Senate – NLRB v. New Vista Nursing & Rehabilitation decision.
- The NLRB chose not to seek a stay. Losing parties that do not want judicial rulings to go into effect immediately are required to file for a stay of the ruling and make the requisite showing. As a result of the NLRB's choice not to pursue stays, the DC Circuit and Third Circuit rulings are in full force and effect.
- Accordingly, neither the Board nor any of its agents currently have authority to issue, prosecute or decide unfair labor practice complaints against Cablevision. So, for example, because the presiding administrative law judge acts as an ongoing agent of the Board, he has no authority to hear the case.
- Moreover, the Regional Directors of Regions 2 and 29 -- the ones responsible for issuing the complaints against Cablevision -- were not validly appointed because the Board did not possess a quorum when they were appointed.
The CWA Union represents a small number of employees in Brooklyn. In February, Brooklyn Cablevision employees petitioned the NLRB for a vote to determine whether the CWA will continue to represent them and they are awaiting the opportunity to have that vote, which has been blocked by the NLRB.
Cablevision enjoys an excellent relationship with its employees company-wide. In fact, the last time Cablevision workers voted on union representation, in June 2012, technicians in the Bronx voted 123-41 against the CWA Union and in favor of maintaining their direct relationship with Cablevision.
Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) is one of the nation's leading media and telecommunications companies. In addition to delivering its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings throughout the New York area, the company owns and operates cable systems serving homes in four Western states. Cablevision's local media properties include News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision also owns and operates Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com.
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Sarah Chaikin, 516-803-2352
Whit Clay, 212-446-1864