Freedom Mobile - Bargaining Update #1
Posted 2017-Mar-24

Spread the word - please feel free to provide this to any co-workers who may not be on the distribution list yet.

1.   We have completed our initial two days of collective bargaining. At the table for your union are your elected committee members Jasen Gannon, Christian Poisson and, Tanya Travis Dunn, USW Staff Rep Bryan Adamczyk, USW National Local Union 1944 President Lee Riggs, Local 1944 Reps Jenn Bucholtz and John Hockey, and USW Research staff Rep Shaker Jamal. For the company, it is Richard Morris, Consultant, Denise Murphy, Human Resources, Steven Kahn, Team Manager and Pierre Methe, Director of Customer Care. So far, the tone at the bargaining table is polite and respectful.

2.   You recently received an email from Walker Peters that tries to tell you why Freedom is refusing to comply with a union request for employees’ contact information.

It is common for companies to provide this information to unions.  Why? Maybe it’s because those companies want to build successful relationships and work toward fair collective agreements. And there is another reason– companies do it because it is legally required.

A union has the right to represent employees in a bargaining unit. That means that the union also has a duty to fairly represent its members. In order to meet that duty, a union has to be able to effectively communicate with its members.

The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has repeatedly issued rulings that make it 100% clear: a company’s refusal to provide a union with employees’ home addresses and phone numbers is an unfair labour practice, and the CIRB will order the company to release the information to the union.

The Supreme Court recently upheld this point. It ruled that the disclosure of employees’ home addresses and telephone numbers is required in order for the union to meet the representational duties imposed on it by law. The Supreme Court made it clear that a union’s ability to directly and quickly contact members of the bargaining unit is integral to carrying out its legal duties to its members. The Supreme Court also made it clear that home contact information – as opposed to work contact information – was needed to enable the union to carry out its duties to bargaining unit employees. The Supreme Court also upheld the finding that such disclosure was authorized by the Privacy Act.

It is unclear to the USW why Freedom Mobile is refusing to do what most employers agree to do. If Freedom Mobile does not provide this information, we will file a formal complaint to the CIRB that the company is interfering with our representation of employees and is violating federal labour law.

3.   Freedom has refused our request to have USW Local 1944 President Lee Riggs and others accompany your elected bargaining committee and management on an escorted tour of your workplace. “A visit to your call centre would be a positive experience and a way to meet some of you in the workplace during your non-work time in a way that does not interfere with the work flow.  We thought it would be valuable to see your work environment firsthand.  Thousands of our members work in call centres across Canada and we regret that the company has denied this opportunity” said Riggs. Despite these refusals by Freedom Mobile management to reasonable requests, we will continue our work to bargain a fair collective agreement.

Keep an eye out for our next update! Your Bargaining Committee thanks you for all of the support we are getting from the members. Together we can build a better future at Freedom.


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