United Steelworkers (USW) Statement on Collective Bargaining with TELUS

"TELUS targets employees' wallets and their working lives while producing strong and growing profits."

VANCOUVER, Sept. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Over 10,000 USW members across Canada work for TELUS customer service, call centres, network support, installation and repair. Our union is currently in bargaining to renew our collective agreement with this profitable and successful telecom company.

"By working hard and impressing customers, our members have helped make TELUS a success," said Lee Riggs, USW National Local 1944 President.

Yet TELUS' very highly paid corporate executives are seeking unnecessary cutbacks in employees' pay and erosions in their working conditions.

"We help TELUS make money by adding and keeping customers. The company doesn't need to cut pay and benefits," said USW National Local 1944 member Julie Charbonneau, an administrative assistant at TELUS. "We work hard and we are proud of what we do. How can TELUS now say that the reward is that we should work harder for less and that we should have less time with our families?"

TELUS annually surveys employees' views with a tool called Pulsecheck and often touts the results as evidence of employee support for corporate practices. The union recently conducted its own survey, with over 1,700 members taking part. Three-quarters of employees reported being subjected to influence from managers to complete their Pulsecheck in a certain manner while 70% reported being told that there would be negative consequences for poor Pulsecheck scores.

Collective bargaining, currently taking place in Vancouver, may soon be reaching a crucial stage. TELUS has not shifted in its needless demands for weakening its employees' incomes and terms of employment, but employees and their union remain determined to achieve a fair contract.

"TELUS is targeting its employees' wallets and their working lives while producing strong and growing profits," says Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

"In Canada, we pay among the world's highest cell phone rates. And TELUS is raking in big revenues and profits," said Neumann. "So we think that customers will be angered to see TELUS trying to target the working lives of its employees in communities across this country."

In the coming weeks, the USW will expand an awareness campaign about the TELUS bargaining. It will include communication with telecom customers in Canada, cooperating with workers' organizations in other nations where TELUS operates, increasingly visible actions in the workplace, communication about the union's position to investors and shareholders, and, if necessary, preparations for a strike vote.

Second quarter 2016 saw TELUS exceed both its own targets and the expectations of financial analysts:

  • 22% rise in quarterly profit (net income jumped to C$416 million from C$341 million over the same quarter last year)
  • Gains in internet and television subscribers beat analyst estimates
  • Wireless results were a highlight. TELUS added 61,000 postpaid or contract wireless customers, better than the 37,500 analysts expected.
  • Average revenue per user rose 1.4% to $64.38, the highest among the big three telecom companies and the 23rd consecutive quarter of ARPU growth.
  • TELUS announced a quarterly dividend of $0.46 per share, an increase of four cents over the previous year.

USW membership employed by TELUS:

Over 10,000 USW members (USW National Local 1944) work for TELUS customer service, call centres, network support, installation and repair. They work in hundreds of cities and towns across Canada, with major call/customer support locations and technical operations in areas such as Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Prince George, Edmonton, Calgary, Scarborough, Barrie and Montreal.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Brett Barden, Executive Assistant to the USW National Local 1944 President, 604-230-0553, brett.barden@usw1944.ca


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890