With the confinement measures that all members of the public have had to follow since mid-March, the situation is no different for the vast majority of the some 75 CUPE members at Bell Media, who will now have to telework. Only a few employees dedicated to airing and engineering are required in their workplace to ensure that operations run smoothly.
Things were looking up for this group until BCE, of which Bell Media is one of its subsidiaries, announced last April 9 that 2000 employees would see a 25% cut in both their workload and their pay. About twelve of our members were directly affected by this directive.
During this period of uncertainty, it is unacceptable for a company of this size to scale back the working conditions of its employees at a time of unprecedented crisis when several other SMEs are successfully using government assistance programs to maintain the working conditions of their employees.
“This makes no sense at all! How can a company treat its employees like that? Bell Media would rather hang on to its freelancers and contractors rather than its own employees,” lamented CUPE union representative Richard Quesnel.
“We questioned the management of Bell Media on the eligibility for the 75% wage subsidy. We are still awaiting an answer,” he added.
Note that Bell raised its Internet rates only recently in spite of the current health crisis. It must also be pointed out that this pandemic struck at the same time negotiations were under way to get a first contract for this group that only recently joined the big CUPE family.