Thoughts on the Telus Labour Dispute

Post ImageI have given much thought to the Telus dispute over the last couple months, mainly because I see the workers on strike every day across the street from the office. An article in The Gateway (the University of Alberta’s student paper) today also made me think of the issue again. I’ve come to the following conclusions:

  • The labour dispute has only reinforced my desire to look for alternatives. Vonage is looking pretty good right now as far as my landline is concerned. I don’t want to get a new cell phone number though, so I am stuck with Telus Mobility for that.
  • I think Telus needs to look in the mirror and accept that they have not always acted appropriately. They have done some things wrong, and they need to own up and fix them.
  • No matter how much Telus the company might be at fault, I cannot bring myself to support the workers on strike. Never in my dealings with Telus over the last six years (I lived in the NWT before that) have I encountered an employee that was helpful, let alone polite. Ridiculous wait times on the phone only to be greeted by a rude, unhelpful employee is not my idea of a good time. And don’t give me that crap about how they’d be more polite and helpful if they were paid better, etc. I don’t buy it. People at McDonald’s aren’t paid very well, but at least they are usually more helpful and polite than Telus employees.

Clearly that last point is the most important, and it’s the one that I have thought about most.

CBC workers to launch competing service

Post ImageNormally I hate unions, but this bit of news caught my fancy. In addition to the current Telus strike, the CBC is facing a labour dispute all across the country. And as Tod Maffin reports, things are about to get interesting:

Next week, locked-out workers of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will use the Internet to compete against their employer. They are even setting up office and studio space in Toronto.

The site will have a national daily newscast available via podcast or download, released at the usual time of CBC Radio’s flagship World at Six news program (currently off the air). Phase two will include local and regional news, expanded current affairs coverage, and perhaps video-casts.

Watch for the new site at At least, it sounds like that’s where things will be located:

Turns out a number of locked-out producers have been working on a podcast/news site of their own and they’d planned to call it — go ahead, guess — CBC Unplugged. Great minds think alike I guess. Rather than cause confusion, I’m going to hand the domain over to them and let them run with their own service. So as of next week, will be managed by a different group of people. Stay tuned, they have some exciting things planned!

Will be pretty interesting to watch next week. Apparently if works volunteer ten hours a week on the new site, they only have to walk the picket line half the usual time to get their strike pay. I wonder if anything like this has happened before? I doubt it. Ah, the wonders of the Internet.

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