Telus engaged in bullying, not bargaining

EDMONTON-The reputation for good labour relations and excellent service earned over many years by Alberta Government Telephones, EdTel and BCTel have been poured down the drain of corporate mismanagement by Telus in a few short years, says the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, Alberta's largest labour organization.

"Telus has forgotten how to treat people. They are engaged in 'take it or leave it' negotiating - and that is bullying, not bargaining," says Gil McGowan.

"It is the arrogant unwillingness of Telus management to listen to anyone else's point of view that has alienated their onetime loyal workers and customers. You have to ask yourself why Telus is acting so irresponsibly. In the long run, negotiating fairly with your employees and treating them with respect pays dividends in terms of productivity and customer satisfaction - Telus' tactics are producing exactly the opposite."

McGowan says that the affiliated unions and members of the AFL will be supporting the Telus strikers throughout the dispute.

"We will be providing picket line and other support as requested by the Telecommunication Workers Union (TWU). "For now the TWU is asking our members to consider dropping some, but not all of their Telus services, and to cancel automatic payment provisions," says McGowan.

McGowan warns Telus that such actions must not be treated lightly.

"If we move to a full boycott of Telus goods and services, experience has shown us that many of those customers will never come back to Telus. The company needs to show some common sense at the bargaining table before irreparable damage is done," says McGowan.

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