Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania

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December 27, 2012

Cablevision has slapped the heartless union that disrupted its Times Square cancer benefit earlier this month with a defamation suit.

The union, Communications Workers of America Local 1109, erroneously tells customers and news outlets that the company's Internet speeds for customers in Brooklyn are 25 percent slower than in the rest of the city, according to a suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

The union's statements were printed in the Daily News, aired on 1010 WINS radio, distributed on leaflets at a recent Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and posted on two CWA-sponsored Web sites, the suit said.

The union also made defamatory statements, the lawsuit claims, during a protest of a Cablevision-sponsored charity event to raise money for pancreatic-cancer research in early December at the Hard Rock Cafe, the suit said.

CEO James Dolan called the workers' actions during the event "despicable." The benefit raised more than $1.75 million for the Lustgarten Foundation.

The suit also cites other allegedly defamatory statements, like robocalls after Hurricane Sandy that suggested that if customers didn't ask for a rebate quickly, the company would stiff them.

The lawsuit specifically names Tim Dubnau, an organizer for CWA Local 1109, who told the Daily News that during the storm customers would have to "find a phone and beg Cablevision for refunds on their cable bills."

In fact, customers had 30 days after the restoration of their power to report service outages.

The lawsuit also challenges union-sponsored Web sites that claim Cablevision Internet service is weak in Brooklyn - saying the site doesn't factor in whether a customer has Wi-Fi or a landline.

Union officials did not return calls and e-mails for comment. - Beth Defalco, New York Post

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