Joint Statement on Altice Acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corp
UNI Global Union, the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT), the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), the Sindicato dos Trabalhadores das Telecomunicações e Audiovisual (SINTTAV), the Sindicato dos Trabalhadores do Grupo Portugal Telecom (STPT), the Sindicato Democrático dos Trabalhadores das Comunicaçoes e dos Media (SINDETELCO), and the Communications Workers of America have joined together in a coordinating committee to address common issues for workers and the unions at all Altice-owned operations.
In September 2015 we became aware that Altice, the multinational cable and telecommunications company headed by French billionaire Patrick Drahi, is seeking to acquire the U.S.-based cable operator, Cablevision Systems Corp.
Similar to other Altice acquisitions, the purchase of Cablevision is heavily funded by debt, putting up the equity and assets of Cablevision as collateral to secure the purchase. From our experience with Altice acquisitions in France and Portugal we know that the company often seeks to cut costs and pay off debt through measures that most impact the workforce and their families such as lay-offs, outsourcing, and off-shoring– forcing workers out of their jobs or into lower-paid precarious work in the outsourced companies. Altice has also demonstrated its failure to make timely payments to suppliers and contractors, often forcing those companies into unstable financial situations.
In the United States some of Cablevision’s workforce is unionized with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). UNI Global Union and the newly formed coordinating committee support the rights of all Cablevision workers to join a union and bargain collectively. We call on Altice to respect the existing union representation and collective bargaining and meet with the CWA as the acquisition moves forward. We also call on Altice to respect the rights of all Cablevision workers to decide for themselves, free of threats and interference, whether to join CWA and seek to negotiate their conditions on the job.
UNI Global Union and the unions in the coordinating committee will maintain close communication as the Altice seeks to expand its presence in the United States and will work together to advance our common goals of fairness at all Altice-owned entities and respect for the rights of the workers employed there.
December 2, 2015