New York Knicks owner James Dolan has been accused by the National Labor Relations Board with trying to strong-arm his Cablevision owned crew of unionized cable technicians into voting to abandon their union.

The charges largely stem from an early September speech Dolan gave to Brooklyn-based techs during which he advised them “he would help get the union to withdraw its representation of them if they voted against keeping the union.” It’s also alleged that during that same conference Dolan threatened to deny workers new training if they voted to keep the union, while also promising some workers increased wages and other perks if they agreed to promote his agenda.

The New York Times reports the very next day Cablevision sponsored a vote to gauge sentiment on the issue during which 129 workers voted to disband the union against 115 votes to keep it. Nearly three-years before, Brooklyn based techs overwhelmingly voted to join the communications workers union, but the two sides have yet to formally reach a contract agreement.

As might be expected, Dolan blasted the new findings as “unfair” and angrily charged the N.L.R.B. has turned into a “tool of big labor.” In a statement company officials added “we are outraged but not surprised by the one-sided finding. The N.L.R.B. regional office should be serving as a trusted government body with an open mind, but instead acts to advance the C.W.A.’s agenda.”

Meanwhile, top union officials rejoiced over the government’s decision, with union vice president Chris Shelton adding “the federal government has once again charged James Dolan and Cablevision with shamelessly breaking federal labor laws. Just because he’s a billionaire, he doesn’t get to supersede the law or trample on workers’ rights.”

Cablevision has previously been cited for similar suspect dealings. In April of 2013, the company was accused of “bargaining in bad faith” after 22 union supportive workers were inexplicably dismissed from their positions. Just a year before, the company was accused of intimidating Bronx workers before a union representation election in which techs ultimately voted to reject the union by a one-sided vote of 121-43.

[Photo Credit: Wally G]