OTTAWA, July 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada stridently opposes advantages the Harper
government is offering New York-based Verizon Communications to take
over Canada's telecommunications.
"Granting one of the biggest companies in the world special rights to
public airwaves (spectrum), to buy small players and to existing
companies' networks may be the most ill conceived policy the Harper
government has come up with," says CEP President Dave Coles.
"In its ideological crusade to open the telecommunications sector up to
foreign ownership the Conservatives are 'gaming the rules' in favour of
a major US-based multinational," says Coles.
"If the government is really concerned about protecting wireless
consumers why not simply regulate pricing and contract rules," says
Coles. "Instead they are hell bent on foreign ownership of this
country's telco sector, which is bad for Canada's workers, security and
In September, Industry Canada will start the bidding process for 700
megahertz spectrum considered the best spectrum that's made available
in decades. This bandwidth frequency will allow telecommunications
companies to rapidly transmit large amounts of data, which will improve
cellphone connections in rural areas as well as elevators, tunnels and
other places where service is often spotty.
"We support granting rights to these valuable public airwaves in
exchange for job guarantees, improved service for remote First Nations
or to strengthen public ownership in the sector," says Coles. "But
discounting spectrum for a mega rich US based company is ludicrous."
"Canadians don't want their government to give special benefits to a
company that's blocked all the workers running its wireless network
from union protection and that is deeply implicated in the recent NSA
spying scandal," says Coles.
The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada is the
largest union in several key sectors of Canada's economy, including
forestry, energy, telecommunications and media. The union's 110,000
members work at a wide variety of jobs in hundreds of different
workplaces across the country.
SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Dave Coles, President, CEP 613.299.5628