Our Real Talk Story – Unifor files common employer application at Expertech aimed at Bell Canada

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TORONTO- Unifor has filed an application with the CIRB claiming that Bell Canada is the rightful employer of technicians and clerical workers at Expertech, insisting that members should be bargaining with Bell Canada.

“What we’re saying is that Expertech is a puppet, owned and controlled wholly by Bell Canada,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We don’t bargain with puppets. Unifor members deserve to sit across the table from their employer, Bell Canada.”

On Tuesday, May 21, Unifor submitted a common employer application for Expertech technicians and clerical workers to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), claiming that Bell Canada is the real employer and not Expertech, consequently, these members ought to be covered by the Bell Canada Craft and Clerical collective agreements.

“This application is one more way that Unifor is defending good jobs in Canada’s telecommunications sector now and for the next generation of workers,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “Bell has tried to sell these workers short by creating Expertech, but our position is that Expertech is Bell Canada, and our members deserve better.”

Bell Canada created and is now the sole owner of Expertech, and has been steadily decreasing the work allocated to members at Expertech. The union has witnessed the absolute control Bell has on Expertech’s contracts, resulting in business decisions that has led to layoffs and displacement of good unionized telecom jobs.

Employees of Bell Canada and Bell subsidiaries have long campaigned against contracting out and other forms of job erosion and will continue to do so.  For current updates about this campaign, visit bellrealtalk.ca.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Unifor files common employer application at Expertech

 

This week, Unifor has submitted a common employer application for Expertech technicians and clerical workers to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), claiming that Bell Canada is the real employer and not Expertech. Consequently, these members ought to be covered by the Bell craft and clerical agreements.

 

When Expertech was first created, Unifor members had exclusive rights to all of the work from Bell Canada. Over the years, the business model changed when SNC Lavalin became part owner of Expertech, which also gave us access to other contracts not related exclusively to Bell.

 

Since Bell Canada has once again become the sole owner of the company, we have seen a steady decrease in volumes of work being allocated by Bell. In fact, they have absolute control on who they contract out to, and we’ve seen many other contractors in both provinces have access to that work, which has resulted in member displacements, lay offs and a reduction in our membership.

 

Our experience in the most recent round of clerical bargaining has made it clear that Expertech is not the decision maker. Every step of the way Bell made every decision. It is obvious to the union that Bell Canada is in fact running the show at Expertech. Your local union leadership is unanimous in this belief; we can no longer sit back and let this go unchallenged.

 

But what does this actually mean for members?

 

First, in our view, bargaining for the clerical unit should be put on hold until we have a ruling from the CIRB. For technicians, we are of the view that there is no need to begin bargaining until the board has determined exactly who the employer is. We assert that we should be at the table with Bell, not Expertech.

 

We bargain with the employer that has the authority to make business decisions, and in our view, Bell is that decision maker.

 

The current collective agreement will remain in force throughout this process. And the company will manage the business as usual.

 

This may be a lengthy process, but it is vital to build our power and strength as a union.  Your union leadership needs your patience and support. Unifor is challenging Bell as we have never before and that will intensify as we fight for good Telco jobs across the country.

 

Our Bellrealtalk.ca campaign has recently been launched and this is just another part of that discussion. We will no longer let Bell get away with things they have in the past. It’s time to Talk about Bell for a change and this is a large part of that discussion.

 

We thank you for your solidarity and support.

 

In solidarity,

 

Chris MacDonald

Assistant to the National President

 

John Caluori

Assistant to the Quebec Director

Bell Media must respect rights of workers in digital restructuring plans

ctv2                 May 9, 2019 – 12:00 AM

TORONTO – The union representing local TV news staff across the CTV chain has made it clear to Bell Media that its restructuring plans cannot leave media workers out in the cold.

“Today’s announcement from CTV of its shift to ‘digital-first’ airing of local news stories on the Internet was inevitable,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Retooling local news for digital is necessary and, hopefully, a successful business plan because local TV is being starved for advertising revenues and anything that brings in a bigger audience and more ad revenue is welcome.”

The stations affected by restructuring include the CTV1 stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Bell has told journalists and field technicians to expect a mix of retraining, layoffs, and new “digital” jobs, with a net reduction of staffing.

Dias cautioned Bell Media of its responsibility to guide news staff through the technological changes in job responsibilities, as it is expected that some journalists and field staff will need to acquire new digital skills.

“We are going to ensure no media worker is left behind,” said Dias. “Bell knows us pretty well and they know we mean it.”

Dias is also urging the federal government to accelerate its four-year long review of Canadian broadcasting in the Internet environment, scheduled to continue into 2020. “There are obvious actions the CRTC and the federal government can take to strengthen Canadian programming,” said Dias, referring to the CRTC’s own “Harnessing Change” report on Internet-broadcasting issued in June 2018.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Unifor 1996-O Scholarships – Deadline Approaching, Submission due May 31 2019

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The deadline is fast approaching to get your application submitted.

We in Local 1996-O are concerned about the lives of our members’ families and their education.  Due to high tuition fees we recognize that post-secondary education is out of reach for many working-class. To assist, we’ve established 2 scholarships worth $1,000.00 each. One in memory of the late Brother, Milos Petrasinovic and Brother, Alwa Marcelle.

The scholarships are awarded to sons/daughters of Unifor 1996-O members in good standing.  Students must be entering their first year of full-time post-secondary education (university, community college, technological institute, trade school, etc.) in a public Canadian institution. 

These are entrance Scholarships only and are not renewable for students entering subsequent years of study.

Deadline for submitting an application is May 31 2019

The selection of candidates will be chosen no later than June 28, 2019 and will be final.

Click here to download the 2019 application.