Expertech workers move towards strike action

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TORONTO— The bargaining committee representing members of Expertech, a wholly owned Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. company, is gearing up for a crucial strike vote, signaling the potential for imminent strike action. Following months of negotiation and the intervention of conciliation, Bell Expertech has yet to present a substantive monetary offer or commit to limit outsourcing to third-party contractors rather than investing in its own workforce.

"Our members are fighting to protect their work and ultimately their jobs from being contracted away," said Unifor National President Lana Payne. "It's appalling to see Expertech continue to disregard the hard work and dedication of these workers. Our members have patiently awaited resolution but with only minimal progress on wages and outsourcing of work we are rapidly approaching the necessity of strike action."

As of Friday, March 22, the parties entered into a federally legislated 21-day cooling-off period. The union plans to hold strike votes in the first weeks of April and will be in a position to give 72-hour strike notice as of April 12, 2024. 

Wage increases remain a significant point of contention, with the company failing to engage substantively on proposals put forth by the union. Despite the bargaining committee's efforts to advance negotiations, the lack of meaningful dialogue leaves little room for optimism regarding a swift resolution.

"With the pressure mounting and the stakes high, we are resolute in our pursuit of a fair deal for our members,” said Unifor Québec Director Daniel Cloutier. “As the clock ticks towards potential strike action there is a still time for Expertech to deliver a fair agreement but our bargaining committee stands prepared to take decisive action should the need arise.” 

The union is negotiating on behalf of approximately 730 members, represented by multiple local unions in Ontario and Quebec, who work in clerical and technical capacities. 

As a Bell subsidiary, Expertech’s hesitancy to address longstanding concerns echoes patterns observed in past negotiations, underscoring the urgency of achieving tangible progress for workers. 

Unifor's 'Shame on Bell' campaign aims to highlight the struggles faced by workers, including those at Bell Expertech. The campaign underscores the detrimental impact of Bell's recent decisions to cut corners on worker compensation and job security, prioritizing profit margins over the well-being and livelihoods of its workforce.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 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 media inquiries in English please contact Unifor Communications Representative Conley Mosterd at @email or (416)-795-5099.

For media inquiries in French, contact: Unifor Quebec Communications Representative Véronique Figliuzzi at @email.

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Media Contact

Véronique Figliuzzi

Communications Representative - Québec

Conley Mosterd

National Communications Representative