CUPE is sounding the alarm about a recent wave of buyouts at TELUS, where fifty such offers have been reported in recent days. The union is worried that the buy-outs are actually lay-offs in disguise.

“The workforce has been shrinking since 2015, but these departures are different. The workers who are left are expected to add the work of those who are leaving to their existing workloads,” said Brian Leclerc, president of CUPE Local 5144.

The local reports a lack of transparency in the voluntary departure process. It is demanding more information from the telecommunications giant, so it can assess what is going on in the staffing reorganization.

“Even before this wave of departure offers, we had problems with work overload. The staff are worried,” Leclerc said. “They want answers. What is the employer trying to hide here? Are jobs going to be sent elsewhere in Canada or abroad? Will there be more outsourcing? Why downsize, when we all know those staff are needed to get the work done?”