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Unifor, the largest private sector union in Canada, termed the layoff by Bell and treatment to its sacked employees as ‘beyond shameful’

Bell, telecommunications giant, laid off more than 400 workers on Tuesday during a brief 10-minute virtual group meetings, the union representing the employees, Unifor said.

Sacked employees were ‘surplus’

During the video call, the employees who were sacked were declared “surplus” and they were not even allowed to ask questions when the manager read the layoff notice.

‘Beyond shameful’

Unifor, the largest private sector union in Canada, termed the layoff by Bell and treatment to its sacked employees as “beyond shameful”.

“Our members, who have devoted years of service to this telecoms and media giant, are being repaid with pink slips,” Unifor’s Quebec director said.

The director further said although Bell disputed the statement and said it had been transparent with union leadership for over five weeks about the layoff process and has met its obligations.

“The truth is Bell picked a number of heads to roll so it could increase its dividend payout without an actual plan on which jobs and which workers would be eliminated so the terminations are cruelly dragged out,” Unifor said.

‘Shareholders, Board of Directors come first for Bell’ 

Unifor further said at the end of 2022, Bell reported a $2.3 billion profit.

“Our dedicated, loyal workers, who are predominately women, will have to explain to their families tonight that they are being let go from Bell for no good reason other than making sure that their shareholders and Board of Directors come first when getting paid. It’s absolutely disgusting,” Unifor added.

Discussed severance packages with terminated employees

Meanwhile, Bell said the terminated employees had individual HR meetings where the severance packages were discussed.

In February, Bell announced plans to eliminate 4,800 positions, about 9 per cent of its workforce. CEO Mirko Bibic called the cuts necessary to “simplify our organisation and accelerate our transformation” on an earnings call.

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