VANCOUVER, September 22, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Members of United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 1944 have sent a strong message to Rogers Communications, formerly Shaw Communications, and the Trudeau government, voting 99.6% in favour of going on strike. Members voted to give their bargaining committee the right to call for job action, up to and including a strike.
"It is extremely disappointing that Rogers is looking for the ability to erode good-paying jobs, contradicting what the company promised Canadians during the Rogers-Shaw merger talks with the Trudeau government," said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada and the Territories.
"Rogers sold the Trudeau government and the Canadian public on being a good Canadian employer by bringing jobs back to Canada. Now, at the bargaining table, Rogers is pushing contracting-out language to reduce its unionized, in-house technician workforce. The Trudeau government and Minister Champagne need to step in to hold Rogers accountable for attempting to break and violate conditions set by this government when it approved the Rogers-Shaw merger," said Lunny.
On March 31, 2023, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, issued a statement containing unprecedented and legally binding commitments for Rogers requiring the telecom giant to make major investments within the next five years.
"The government’s conditions called for Rogers to create 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada and maintain them for a certain period. Instead, Rogers turns around and offers voluntary severance packages (VSPs) and is now pushing for aggressive contracting out language in bargaining," said Jayson Little, USW Staff Representative.
"Rogers needs to be building and strengthening its workforce in the West, not reducing its workforce by contracting out our jobs. Through this strong strike mandate, I hope Rogers and the Trudeau government have received a clear message that our members will continue to stand together to defend their work and against threats to erode their jobs," said Little.
Approximately 300 members of USW Local 1944, Unit 60, have been in negotiations since February and are in conciliation with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). The workers continue to work under the terms of their previous collective agreement that expired on March 23.
"We will be in a strike position at the end of October. If there is no movement in the days ahead to renew a respectable collective agreement that protects our jobs, then we will have no choice but to take further job action, up to and including a strike," said Little.
The USW represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.
Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of its strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including better wages, benefits and pensions.
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For more information:
Scott Lunny, USW Western Canada Director, 604-329-5308, email@example.com
Jayson Little, USW Staff Representative, 778-837-3584, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Barden, USW Communications, 604-445-6956, email@example.com