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TWU applies to the CIRB... Again.

Talk here about issues with unions or companies in the Telecommunications sector.
Midnyte
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Postby Midnyte » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:22 am

From what I am hearing, LTS Techs have absolutely no desire to affiliate with the TWU.

They are making more dough than telus techs, and don't want to take a cut in pay working as union members



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Postby green1 » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:05 am

When has unionization ever been about what the employees want? (ok, possibly 100 years ago, but certainly not recently!)

The union wants them, and will fight tooth and nail to get them, and in fact the TWU is doing their best to ensure that there is NO vote involved, nor even a card certification. Same thing they did to the Quebec employees.

Unions realize that there is no reason to risk loosing by allowing the employees a choice when it's much easier to get the CIRB to simply rule that the people are part of the existing bargaining unit.



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Postby NC » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:12 pm

Sadly and as most of us know, the CIRB is *very* pro-union and they are not accustomed to listening to the employees, the employees are not part of the equation.

When you have a room full of unionized members (CIRB) deciding if a bunch of contractors working on previously unionized job are going to be in the bargaining unit you can guess what way they will rule.

As far as the CIRB is concerned unionization is the *absolute* solution to ensuring workplace harmony. If you go to their site you will find nothing relating to "employee rights" as it relates to unionization. They are concerned only with "Union Rights" and the right to form unions. In fact, they have instrucitons on how to certify, but none on how to decertify.

In fact, the Informational Circular (Applications for Revocation 10-01) on their site has been "under review" since 2005, there is nothing there.

Meanwhile, the one that helps people join unions (Applications for Certification 7-05) was updated in 2008.

The CIRB *REALLY* likes unions and *REALLY* hates it when people try to decertify them, or dodge them. They feel that people are just not clear on the great benefit of having a union and they are going drag as many people as they can into "union enlightenment".

If you are trying to stay out of a union you must have been coerced or intimidated by your employer to think that, and if you claim that a union is trying to intimidate you, or lie to you to get you to join a union, the CIRB will , almost without exception, rule that you are just "unfamiliar with the unionization process" or that the union is just engaging in "salesmanship" or... my personal favourite, "mere puffery".

Stand back because with the Federal jurisdiction, once you're in the TWU you can't get out without *everyone* wanting out. They will "vary" the bargaining unit to get you in, but it is illegal to "vary" you back out again.

If I were one of those contracted people I would be campaigning HARD to stop this. If you are one of this group, working as a contractor and are reading this, either sign in or send me an email, we can tell you the rules. But do it soon.

PS - Hey Midnyte, good to see you again, thanks for chiming in.


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Postby Midnyte » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:26 pm

Thanks NC. I am usually a casual observer. However, I am close to people who work for LTS.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. As per usual, the union has bitten into it, and is squandering member money on another wild goose chase.



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Postby green1 » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:57 pm

There is a lot of misinformation out there. As per usual, the union has bitten into it, and is squandering member money on another wild goose chase.
I wouldn't be so sure about that, their application to the CIRB may well succeed, and if it does, it won't matter what the LTS employees want, they'll be paying dues to the TWU...

This will be a very interesting decision from the CIRB, whenever they get around to making it...

(on a side note, I can find on the CIRB website how to read decisions that are already rendered... but is there any way to find out when a particular case will be heard?)



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Postby alec » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:31 am

So if the decison falls in favour of the twu, what happens next...

LTE would wake up with their employees that are servicing the contract with Telus bing twu members. Does that mean that LTE has to negotiate a first contract with the twu? Or do they just inherit the existing contract that telus has. What happens to the rest of LTE's employees? Also chances are a large number of those "employees" are incoporated indivisuals with their own contracts to LTE. What happens there?

On the other hand... does Telus care if this gets approved? As far as they are concerned LTE is fulfilling a contract with them. Telus doesn't care who does the work..... or do they?

what do you think?


TWwho?

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Postby green1 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:39 am

If the TWU wins, all LTE employees are suddenly in the same bargaining unit and under the same TWU/TELUS contract as all TELUS employees, making the same money, with the same benefits, the same union dues, hours of work, etc.

Ledcor would care because their costs would suddenly go up, they would have to pass those costs on to TELUS, who would then see the contractors as more expensive than TELUS employees, however more than that, both companies would care because they would not be able to use the contractors in the same way due to hours of work provisions in the contracts which prevent them working the number of weekends they do at present (among other issues) which would also completely skew all the workloads for I&R company wide. This would mean that existing TELUS employees (like myself) would have to work more weekends to compensate (back to the "good old days" where I worked more saturdays then I had off)

Long term, TELUS would have to either give up on contracting out any employees to firms within Canada (gives field forces more job security, however increases off-shoring of all other positions as it's the only place left that TELUS would be allowed to contract out (when given the choice between sending a call centre job to an outsourced Canadian company, or an overseas company the overseas company would be the ONLY answer because the Canadian one would have the same problem Ledcor does))
Or companies bidding on contract work for TELUS would have to become more creative...

End result:
Good for the TWU...
Bad for TELUS, LTE, the contractors, TELUS employees, and Canadian jobs in general.

or in short, it gets real messy, real quick...



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Postby alec » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:00 am

i suppose technically LTE could use it as grounds to cancel the contract with Telus.


TWwho?

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Postby green1 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:03 am

that all depends on their contract with TELUS... but I suspect it's more likely TELUS that would cancel rather than LTE... either way, any advantage the contractors currently give TELUS in cost savings, workload flexibility, hours of work, etc. would all be gone, so you can bet that the contracting itself would be soon too.

Unless the contractors come up with a different way of providing the same service...



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Postby alec » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:04 am

But Wait a minute!

everybody is contacting out these days.. Why are we not hearing of every other union doing exactly the same thing as the twu is trying to do?


TWwho?

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Postby green1 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:11 am

it all depends on how the contracting is set up...

there is a special set of circumstances here that cause this...
1) the contracted out work is identical to the work perfomed by TELUS unionized employees.
2) both employees and contractors are working together (they didn't contract out all of it, just a portion)
3) the contractors do not perform work for any other company, only for TELUS
4) the contractors represent themselves to the customers as TELUS personnel
5) TELUS has the power to recommend which contractor employees get hired/fired

points 3 and 5 are the really important part, if either of those were not true then the TWU wouldn't have a case, however as long as they are, it's very difficult to see what the real difference is between a contractor and an employee.

many contractors at other companies also do work elsewhere (ie, you contract out cleaning the bathrooms, the person doing it may clean a TELUS bathroom, a Bell bathroom, a Sears bathroom, and a Esso bathroom all in the same day, it would be hard to characterize that person as working for TELUS, whereas if all they do is TELUS bathrooms it is more plausible.) Also as a result of this same situation, TELUS ends up with the power to discipline these employees (in my bathroom example, if TELUS didn't like the person cleaning their bathrooms the contractor could re-assign that person to clean the ones at Superstore instead, but in this case because all the person does is work for TELUS, when TELUS says they don't want the person, the person ends up fired because the company has nowhere else to move them to)



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Postby Midnyte » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:37 am

This is why telus is easing the "Exclusivity Clause" in their contract with LTS.
LTS has drummed up projects with other wireline and wireless entities.
They realize it is dangerous to have all your eggs in one basket.

LTS no longer contracts to telus exclusively



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Postby green1 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:27 am

LTS no longer contracts to telus exclusively
it doesn't matter if LTS contracts exclusively to TELUS or not, as long as the individual employees themselves work only for TELUS the result is the same for the purposes of this case.



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Postby Midnyte » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:28 pm

All very good points. Ans it makes for interesting speculation.

It should also be noted. LTS is now headed up by Joe Grech. Joe has made it abundantly clear to his people, he did not sign on to run a 50 million dollar company working exclusively for telus.

He is a big fish in Canadian Telecom, with high placed connections. Although it may seem to telus employees that LTS is focused solely on the telus contract, such is not the case.

There are plenty of other fish in the telecom sea, and telus is but one player.

Remember, LTS was working international telecom projects long before the telus contract, primarily GPON projects in the Pcific Northwest, as well as transport.

I&R was the "new piece", and now that startup issues are a thing of the past, you will see that expand beyond telus.

My personal opinion is that the TWU doesn't have a hope in hell, although a lot of money will be spent before that is realized.

I guess we will wait and see right?

Bye all.

Take care



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Postby NC » Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:47 pm

Does anyone know the law firms that would be playing this game? I have friends that watch who may be able to tell me when the schedule is for hearings.

email nc@labourtalk.org


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