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Cable Operators

CWA: Comcast Is Anti-Union

4/12/2004 8:36 AM Eastern

Communications Workers of America officials accused Comcast Corp. of encouraging employees to decertify local unions already in existence and trying to prevent other employees from organizing, AP reported.

"We believe Comcast is out to crush unions," CWA director of research George Kohl told AP.

Unions have lost hundreds of members in former AT&T Broadband facilities in Los Angeles, Chicago and Pittsburgh in the past 17 months. According to AP, about 2,190 of the MSO’s workers are currently union-represented -- fewer than 5% of its total work force of 59,000 in 35 states and down from 3,500 in November 2002.

Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen told AP the decline in union membership shows that employees believe they have a good relationship with management and don't need representation.

Workers in Ocean City, Md., and Beaverton, Ore., voted out the CWA last month after what union leaders described as a relentless anti-union campaign. According to AP, some workers said managers suddenly started riding in trucks with them to talk privately about the drawbacks of unions, used anti-union videos and more strictly enforced rules for union activists.

Cohen told AP the accusations were "a series of exaggerations, distortions and inaccuracies," but he declined to comment on specific charges.

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