Bargaining Update: Bell Aliant and Bell Clerical Negotiations
The commencement of bargaining for both Bell Aliant and Bell Clerical continues to be delayed.
Failure to Disclose Information
Before entering into fair negotiations, your union needs to receive information about displacement of work from our bargaining units, both on shore and off shore. As everyone is aware, both units have seen a consistent reduction in membership.
This current information, and the Company’s existing plans for the future, factor into members’ concerns about job security and stability at Bell. Your Union has requested full disclosure both about;
- work that the Company moved away from the bargaining unit in the past, and
- any plans to contract out work that is currently performed by members.
Despite the high priority of this information, and the Company’s requirement to provide the Union with it, they continue to delay and withhold this information.
Unreasonable Demands on Maintenance of Activities
Bell continues to demand that a minimum of 900 at Clerical and 750 members in Atlantic must remain at work in case of a labour dispute. No members of either bargaining unit has ever been denied the right to strike in past rounds of negotiations. The Company has not provided any explanation as to why this huge and arbitrary number of workers are required to prevent an immediate and serious threat to the health and safety of the public.
The union has filed a complaint with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to resolve this dispute, which could take several months. In the interim, we call upon the company to resolve the issue, consistent with our past agreements.
What is Maintenance of Activities?
Maintenance of Activities is a procedural agreement, required by the Canada Labour Code, 87.4(1) that the union and the employer must negotiate so that in the event of a strike or lockout the immediate and serious health and safety of Canadians is protected. This has obvious implications for some safety-sensitive sectors, but Unifor has never agreed that any telecommunications workers fall under this category.
Dates, which were scheduled for November and December 2021, are now delayed as your bargaining committee once again asks Bell to cooperate in fair and equal negotiations.
Your local union will follow up with more ways to keep you informed, mobilized, and involved in these negotiations. Please take this opportunity to engage in your bargaining process.
Unifor Atlantic Communication Locals (ACL) Bargaining Committee
Bell Clerical Bargaining Committee