Telus takes down Union’s “Thank you to Telecom Workers” poster

July 2, 2020 - On Friday, the Union was notified by Telus that a member had dared to post the Local’s poster that reads, “Thanks to all Telecom Workers that allow Canadians to work from home” on a door within a Central Office in Alberta, and that management had taken the poster down as it wasn’t on a Union Board. 

This poster was recently mailed to all members, the PDF is here (feel free to print).

Whoever posted this poster very likely did so under the assumption that of course Telus would not take issue with it as it reflects the sentiment that management continually claims to believe, that their workers are vital to Canada’s effort to stay connected and functioning during the COVID-19 crisis, and that all workers’ efforts are appreciated, especially those who are not able to do their job at home.

The member likely posted the poster to remind themselves and their coworkers that they are of value and that their sacrifices are worth something, which is sometimes easy to forget in a corporate environment where it can feel like the employer thinks your stats are more important than you are.

However, management chose to view this poster with the lens of “Company vs Union”, saying that it was simply “Union materials” to be confined to whatever corner of the office they had placed the Union Board. They may legally have the ability under the Collective Agreement to remove a poster produced by the Union from a door, but they didn’t have to. They could have let our members appreciate one another visibly by keeping the poster up. Respect and fairness means not doing everything you can get away with. To gain the benefit of not having their employees see the Union logo on a sign that otherwise states what they say they believe in, the company has shown their true colours. Don’t be fooled!

While members may not be entitled to place these posters on an office door, you have the right to put them in many other places, including:

  • In your company truck
  • At your desk if you still work out of an office
  • Anywhere you are presently allowed to post personal items

As well, the Local is now inspired to launch a contest to find who can display this poster in the most creative and effective way, and the prizes will be $500 Visa gift cards! However, members must respect the company’s desire not to be associated with a poster that describes how valuable your work is if it has a Union logo on it. We’ll send out a hotline soon to announce the start of the contest, and its full rules, so stay tuned.

And finally, thanks to all Telecom Workers that allow Canadians to work from home, 

USW Local 1944