Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) CFO Gregg Seibert was forced to halt a presentation for investors at a conference in New York Thursday afternoon when union protesters from the Communications Workers of America began shouting from the audience.
Seibert had gotten through only about 15 minutes of the hour-long session when he was interrupted by members of the CWA who have been complaining that Cablevision is refusing to negotiate a new pay and benefit package for dispatchers and field technicians whom it represents in Brooklyn, N.Y. "This will never end," one of the protesters shouted.
Shouts from the CWA protesters could be heard on a webcast of Seibert's presentation that Cablevision offered through its investor relations site. Cablevision and Nomura killed the feed for the webcast after the protests continued for several minutes. A Cablevision spokeswoman told FierceCable on Friday that Seibert's presentation resumed after the protesters were escorted from the room.
CWA has been turning up the heat on Cablevision since 282 of its employees in Brooklyn voted to join the union in January 2012. Cablevision employees in the Bronx, N.Y., rejected a proposal to join the union last June, and in February, Cablevision announced that Brooklyn employees who had joined CWA were petitioning the National Labor Relations Board to schedule a vote that could result in seeing the union's status decertified.
Cablevision is also waging a battle with the NLRB, which complained in April that Cablevision intimidated employees in the Bronx who had been considering joining the CWA. On Thursday, soon after the incident at the Nomura conference, Cablevision announced that it had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit to suspend the complaints that NLRB has filed against the MSO.
CWA has disrupted several Cablevision events in the last several months, including its annual shareholder meeting last week, where CEO Jim Dolan asked police to remove protesters. The company could face another protest next week in London, where Seibert is scheduled to give a presentation at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Telecom & Media Conference on June 4. One of the protesters mentioned London during the incident at the Nomura conference on Thursday.
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