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News | 09/03/2002 4:00 am EDT

Battle between Telus and TWU spills into wireless operations
Contractual wrangling between the Tele-communications Workers Union and Telus Corp. is spilling over into the telco’s wireless operations as both sides battle over whether former Clearnet Communications Inc. employees are now actually part of the union. The union says former Clearnet employees are now part of the larger company and it only makes sense that they would fall under the union’s pact with the company. On the other hand, Telus, which acquired Clearnet two years ago, says it’s not as simple as that (RoW, Sept. 5/00). The telco claims that it set up a separate company which employs the former Clearnet employees. The two sides have been battling for some time since the last contract ran out in December 2000. In the nearly two years since then, the union and the company have met more than 100 times. In an effort to come to a mediated agreement, the two sides are arguing their cases to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. Last week, the board was to have heard from several key witnesses, but only heard from one expert witness the entire week. Further hearings are scheduled this fall. The struggle between the two sides has recently taken a nasty turn as the union is claiming that Telus is funneling work traditionally completed by unionized workers in western Canada to non-unionized employees in central Canada.

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