December 15, 2020
OTTAWA – Following a years-long campaign, Bell workers secure the reversal of Wireless Home Internet (WHI) contracting-out in Ontario and Quebec.
“Bell’s Wireless Home Internet is the foundation of the next generation of Canada’s telecommunications network, and Unifor members are ready to build that infrastructure,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
On Monday December 14, Unifor received confirmation from Bell Canada that the company has begun the process of repatriating all installation work performed by outside contractors working on WHI projects in ON and QC.
This long-anticipated move will ensure that WHI installations will continue in-house by unionized workers in the two provinces. The union will continue to campaign for an end to contracting out in the Atlantic provinces.
“This reversal of this contracting-out proves the importance of all aspects of the union’s representation, from the bargaining table, to mobilization and even community outreach,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Québec Director. “Unifor members across the country added their voices and their time to demand that Bell bring the work back, and today the workers were heard.”
Unifor credits the strength and solidarity of Canada’s telecommunications workers with this win.
Employees of Bell Canada and Bell subsidiaries have long campaigned against contracting out and other forms of job erosion.
In 2018, Bell announced the rollout of its new Wireless Home Internet (WHI) service to bring high-speed Internet access to homes and businesses in rural areas, but quickly contracted out all installations. Bell’s WHI rollout plan in Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada includes 1 million locations.
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.