Unifor launches “Shame on Bell” campaign leading up to March 19 testimony by company execs

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Shame on Bell a montage of people's profiles

Unifor has launched its new “Shame on Bell” campaign today in response to the telecommunications and media giant’s callous decision last month to slash 4,800 jobs, including 800 of our members in telco and media.

“We promised Bell a fight and they are going to get one,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “Our union is not standing by idly while this company hands out pink slips, while profiting billions. Workers who have helped grow this company from the ground up are not disposable.”

Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. reported a whopping $2.3 billion profit at the end of last year but It’s clear that keeping workers employed was never a priority. The recent elimination of 9% of Bell’s workforce has impacted telecommunications sector units and newsrooms across the country.

"Our telecommunications and media jobs are not just a means of livelihood, but pillars of our economy and society,” said Unifor Quebec Director Daniel Cloutier.

“To fight for their preservation is to defend our collective future. This campaign is much more than just a fight – it's an affirmation of our right to dignified, sustainable jobs in Canada.”

For decades, Bell Canada has taken advantage of employees’ hard work and loyalty. Bargaining unit work has been snatched away through non-union outsourcing, offshoring of work, and job erosion across Bell telco units. 

From the ever-shrinking media landscape, Bell Media made huge cuts last June, when it eliminated 6% of its media jobs. 

Meanwhile, Bell has benefited, and thrived, on the Government of Canada’s support for the domestic telecommunications and media industries, including policies such as C-11 and C-18, allowing the company to grow into a telecom giant. 

Bell members from Ontario and Quebec locals will rally in Ottawa on March 19, as Unifor closely watches Bell executives testify on the job cuts before the House of Commons Heritage Committee. 

“These are executives with backgrounds rooted in wealth and privilege,” said Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer Len Poirier. 

“Bell's actions unmistakably reveal a lack of respect and consideration for our members. The commitment of these workers fills the coffers of the board, and their failure to recognize this basic truth while taking away their livelihoods is appalling."

Members and the public can support Unifor’s efforts by sending a letter to the Bell Board of Directors to express disgust at their choice to conduct the biggest layoff in 30 years while continuing to raise dividends and buy back shares to further enrich themselves.

The Shame on Bell campaign can also be supported on social media with these shareables.