Long-time staff at Ottawa Bell call centre told to relocate or get laid off

OTTAWA, Nov. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Bell Canada has announced that the positions of seven long-time employees working out of an Ottawa call centre, members of Unifor local 6004, are being relocated to the Creekbank Campus in Mississauga. These dedicated staff have worked for the company for between 13 and 34 years.

While the workers were told they can retain their position if they relocate to Mississauga, this would mean uprooting families, changing schools in the middle of the year and finding a new home. Those who are unable to relocate to Mississauga and are not successful finding another position at Bell in Ottawa will be laid off as of January 2, 2013.

"It's awful that this announcement comes right before the holiday season," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Telecommunications Director. "These employees and their families are facing a tough decision and are given little time to make it. This is hardly the thanks they should get for their dedication and years of service."

Unifor is concerned about Bell Canada's apparent plan to centralize all operations to just two major locations - the Creekbank Campus in Mississauga and the complex on Nuns' Island just off of Montreal. Bell employees in Ottawa and across the country have seen an unprecedented amount of jobs lost within recent years.

"We have had many colleagues, many who have worked for years at Bell, lose their jobs due to this consolidation," said Michelle Arruda, President of Unifor Local 6004. "In the end, there won't be any of these good jobs in smaller cities and towns. This will have a devastating impact on a lot of communities."

Unifor Local 6004 has urged the company to reverse the decision and to hold all positions in Ottawa that are currently available for those unable to relocate who face layoffs, but Bell has been unrelenting. Local 6004 represents 530 workers in the telecommunications sector, at Bell Canada, BCE and Bell Aliant.

Unifor, founded this past Labour Day weekend with the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications Energy & Paperworkers' union, represents over 30,000 telecommunications workers across Canada.

SOURCE: Unifor

For further information:

Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Telecommunications Director (cell) 647-233-2855 or Katie Arnup, Unifor Communications (cell) 416-333-8097.


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