TORONTO, July 8, 2022 /CNW/ – Talks ended between Bell and Unifor’s 6,000 members in the Bell Clerical and Aliant groups following a week of simultaneous negotiations, pushing Unifor ACL to declare an impasse.
“Clerical members set a deadline when they voted to strike, and despite the clarity of workers’ demands, Bell did not seriously consider the issues that matter most to its’ employees at the table this week,” said Chris MacDonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President. “Members in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario united this week in their negotiations, and were met with low-balling and stubborn refusals from the management.”
Workers are seeking a fair pay increase, continuing to work-from-home, and an enforceable floor of employment in the bargaining unit. Some Clerical members spoke out about bargaining issues in videos released ahead of the strike vote.
“Members like these ones built Bell Canada to be the backbone of Canadian telecommunications industry, and a massively profitable company. It is not too much for Bell workers to ask for a good job we can trust will still be there in the years to come,” said Olivier Carrière, Unifor Assistant to the Quebec Director.
The Bell Aliant group applied for federal conciliation, declaring an impasse on Friday July 8, 2022 as talks broke down in Toronto. At Bell Aliant, Local 401, Local 410, Local 506 and Local 2289, represent 1,700 workers.
On June 21, 2022, Bell Clerical members voted in favour of strike action. The approximately 4,200 workers in the Clerical bargaining unit perform clerical and other duties, and live and work across Ontario and Quebec.
Bell clerical and associated workers are represented in Quebec by Unifor Locals 6000, 6001, 6002 and 6003, and in Ontario by Unifor Locals 6004, 6005, 6006, 6007, 6008 and 37. All locals are represented in the bargaining caucus.
Bell has engaged in a concerted effort to downsize the bargaining unit through attrition, contracting out, automation and other forms of erosion.
Both groups’ collective agreements expired near the end of the year in 2021.
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.