TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - More than 7,000 technical workers employed at Bell Technical Solutions in Ontario and Quebec entered negotiations today as Unifor coordinated its bargaining strategy to push for fairness.
"Bell needs to know that our union is willing to talk, we are willing to listen, and we will come to the table in good faith to negotiate a fair collective agreement," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "But let me be perfectly clear, these are different times and Unifor is approaching this round of bargaining differently."
Unifor said this is not only the first set of negotiations with Bell Technical Solutions since Unifor's founding in 2013, but it is historic. The union has engaged in a joint bargaining process representing 19 locals in Ontario and eight in Quebec, a first for technical workers in Canada.
The bargaining committee, represented by seven elected members, along with Jean-Stéphane Mayer, the National Representative for all Bell Technical Solutions locals in Quebec, and Tyson Siddall, the union's Telecommunications Director, expressed that fairness for the technicians is long overdue. Priority issues for Unifor in this round of bargaining include equal pay for equal work for all workers in both regions, establishing work life balance, ending forced overtime, improvements for part time employees, and paid domestic violence leave.
When the bargaining team entered negotiations today, representing approximately 5,000 workers in Ontario and 2,700 in Quebec, it did so in a united fashion wearing red Unifor shirts to signal the backing of the national union.
Now that formal negotiations have begun, the union will mobilize members as part of the larger Bell It's Time! campaign that includes Unifor members employed at Bell in the clerical unit and Bell Aliant.
"Today is just the beginning of our united solidarity and determination to get a good contract for the technicians at Bell Technical Solutions," said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Québec Director. "Rest assured that throughout the negotiation process, our union will put in the effort and resources necessary to achieve fairness for workers."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 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.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Director Denise Hammond at [email protected] or 416-707-5794 (cell); For French interviews, please contact Unifor Quebec Communications Representative, Marie-Andrée L'Heureux at [email protected] or 514-916-7373 (cell)