Unifor watching Bell Aliant privatization closely

Union pledges to protect workers during transition
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 07/24/2014

Unifor is pledging to keep a close eye on BCE after the company announced plans to privatize Bell Aliant.

BCE announced its intention to buy up the shares in Bell Aliant that it does not already own on July 23.

Unifor — which represents technicians, clerical and other workers at both Bell Aliant and BCE — has plans to meet with officials from both parties to discuss the impact of the move on Unifor members at the two companies.

“We will be vigilant in maintaining our members’ rights as this process plays out in the coming months,” said the union’s national president Jerry Dias.

The privatization plan will reportedly cost $3.95 billion and while BCE has made no specific mention of job cuts, the company has discussed the elimination of “redundant costs.”

Collective agreements will not be affected by the privatization, according to Dias. He said the contracts remain fully in effect, with Unifor representing its members’ interests and working to ensure service to the public does not suffer during the transition.

“Our members are committed to providing top-notch service to the public, and we will work to ensure that continues,” Dias said.

He added that Unifor will be discussing BCE’s concerns about “redundant costs” and any other impacts the privatization will have on workers.

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