Aliant Screws Up

Before Catherine went to New York City in May, I called Aliant, her cell phone provider, to convert her over to the Digital North America plan. Although the plan is $79/month, the prohibitive cost of Canadian cell phone calls when roaming in the U.S. makes it a real deal.

Because Aliant’s customer service agents are on strike, I had to deal with a manager. They took my request, but because they didn’t have access to the actual computer system where the actual change would actually be made, they had to take the details and submit a work order. I was assured that the request would be processed, and even if they were late getting to it, the effective date would be the date of my call.

Just to be sure, I called back the next day to confirm the change had been made. There was, alas, no record of the original work order. So another request was sent in, and again I was assured that the change would be made, and that Catherine would be covered.

On June 9, I received Catherine’s cell phone bill for May. With $299.56 in usage charges for the calls she made and received while in the U.S. Calls that should have been covered under the Digital North America plan at no additional charge.

As a side note, if you’ve ever casually thought about using your Aliant cell phone in the U.S. with a standard plan, here’s some incentive not to: the majority of Catherine’s calls were billed at $2.71 a minute. That means that a 20 minute call home was billed at $54.24.

I called Aliant today, and got the same “we don’t actually do anything here, we just pass along requests” response. The manager took my details and promised that someone would get back to me.

We’ll see what happens.

By the way, I have a deep new respect for the Aliant customer service folks: watching their managers conduct simple operations like “talking and typing at the same time” and “listening to people spell their name” and “knowing what services Aliant offers” with an utter lack of aplomb, you realize that our brothers and sisters on the picket lines truly are skilled professionals.

Comments

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 24, 2004 - 16:02

I called again today — after not hearing back — and talked to an agent who told me “the Mobility Group is very busy.” She recommended that I go into a dealer to have my billing question resolved because apparently dealers have a “direct line to the Mobility Group” that Aliant’s own managers do not.

PEI Striker # 275's picture
PEI Striker # 275 on June 25, 2004 - 02:43

Peter:

As an Aliant Striking Customer Service Rep, thank you for your kind words about us being skilled workers. If only Aliant would recognize and value us for that. You are right a manager in Saint John, NB or Halifax, NS answers the calls, sends the information over here to PEI and by the sounds of your comments by snail mail. Actually, your request should have been done within minutes of you hanging up in the real world or as Aliant would say “Business as Usual”. I think not! However, make sure you get your satsifaction and if not call the CRTC to file a complaint at 1-877-249-2782 if your situation is not resolved by your next bill statement.

Sincerely,
A concerned skilled worker on Strike against Aliant.

Chloe's picture
Chloe on June 25, 2004 - 03:42

Excellent article but an appalling story of incompentence…this item was linked to our Aliant Forum for those of us that are striking to hear about and read for ourselves…

After talking to some of our Service Reps while on the picket line, I’ve discovered I, too, am paying too much for my service and am being billed for items I didn’t realize I didn’t need to have! I’d suggest that anyone with concerns about their bills check with our Service Reps after the strike…or just stop by to say hello while we’re on the picket line.

Picket Chick's picture
Picket Chick on June 25, 2004 - 12:11

Peter, thanks for your comments…and thanks for understanding the plight of the picketers. I, too, am one of the service reps out on the lines, desperately fighting to keep my job intact. Your example of such POOR customer service simply makes my blood boil. I apologize for your experience… Did you call them yet today? Call….call them every day until you get a satisfactory answer. Don’t go into the Mobility shop..they’re just looking for an ‘out’…they’re passing the buck because they HAVE NO IDEA how to help you….the more you call, the more notations on your account. We’ll fix you up when we’re back inside ;). But the greater the call volume now, the further behind they will be to process their orders and get the job done… It’s the trickle effect, which, one day will help us end this dispute. You’ve been respectful of us since the very beginning…and I thank you for that as well.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous on June 25, 2004 - 12:19

While I agree that service from aliant has been a little slow over the past few months the service I do receive once my request gets processed is actually better than the service I received before the strike. I have submitted 3 different service requests in the past 2 months and all three were done correctly the FIRST time (although only POTS and internet requests). Something I can’t say for my previous experiences. Maybe this is luck of the draw, maybe not.

Tillie's picture
Tillie on June 25, 2004 - 12:29

I agree with the above comment. The feedback I have heard as as my own prsonal experience, is that the service, although slow, is much more efficient and reliable. As to the brothers and sisters knowledge and professionalism, one only has to observe them during picket duty and read their signs to get a true picture of these qualities.

Dude McCool.'s picture
Dude McCool. on June 25, 2004 - 12:46

It’s blatantly obvious that Aliant can’t keep up with the business they have now.

Yet, Aliant continues to advertise their mobility and long distance packages, on TV and Radio.

Stupid stupid stupid… The customer service reputation will be tarnished forever.

Striker's picture
Striker on June 25, 2004 - 12:51

With all due respect, “Tillie” and our “Annonymous” friend, dare I ask if perhaps you are related to one of the scab managers in there? 4300 staff left…2200 managers there to do the job…yeah. That’s reliability.

Picket Chick's picture
Picket Chick on June 25, 2004 - 13:07

While I can only speak for myself, I can say with pride that I am DAMN good at my job, Tillie. I know my job, and I maintain a high level of professionalism while on my job. It’s unfortunate that my striking brothers and sisters are being seen in a dark light. However, before you judge us, try to understand what we’re fighting for. We want to keep our jobs on PEI. Are you from PEI, Tillie? Do you have children? Do you want them to grow up and have a good life on PEI? Why not keep a reputable company on-Island to secure jobs and security for our children? We’re fighting to have a fair pension when we’re retired from the company…so we don’t have to go find a part-time job to make ends meet upon reaching our 30th year with the company. We want a fair benefit package. We want to ensure our job stays here, rather than be contracted out to other places….I really don’t feel that the public understands what we’re fighting for. It’s work, not wages. It’s security…we’re not out there because we enjoy it.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous on June 25, 2004 - 18:10

Striker: No, I’m not related to anyone that works for aliant, striker or not. I do have several friends that are walking the picket lines at the moment and I support their cause.

I’ve also heard stories from them about things that have been said and done to the “scab” employees. Although I’ve never been on strike I could not imagine doing such things to people I have worked with for years. I think it’s these types of things that are ruining the strike’s image in the public eye. Why is it when some people get in groups they think they are above the law or common decency?

PEI Striker # 275's picture
PEI Striker # 275 on June 26, 2004 - 17:30

You have heard stories about things said and done to “Scab employees”, well what they are doing to the STRIKERS at the present time is STEALING our livelyhood, and jobs. The definition of a SCAB is one who does the work of a striking worker. This is not right and yes we have worked with some of them for years, however, they are not respecting the picket line by crossing and doing OUR jobs, so they are SCABS. They made their choice, and they will have to live with the CONSEQUENCES. Sorry..but that’s life.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on June 27, 2004 - 19:23

The truth is the scab managers are falling out off poles working unsafly and under sever stress related to being a scab. They are sucking up 12 hours aday at 60 dollars an hour and the Law of the Company has given the scabs the fear that we can not give them. I think that the truth and anonymous need to spend more time together. I can’t imagine telling a manager that never worked on a forty foot pole before to get out and fix that sucker or you are going to lose your job either but Aliant can and has. I think the old childrens ryme about Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me is completely lost on anonymous. BTW the scabs are protected by several branchs of Canadian Rights & freedoms languages ,the Labor Board and the Safty branch from being such scabs but they chose that avenue. To bad ,So Sad but then again we are fighting to keep some of Aliant’s 9000 employees in the Maritimes. I guess anonymous won’t miss those stupid striker friends of hers that dared to call a spade a scab. Our company has reduced its Unionized employees to 4300 out of 9000 and only they 4300 have the collective balls to say enough is enough.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on June 27, 2004 - 19:27

The truth is the scab managers are falling out off poles working unsafely and under sever stress related to being a scab. They are sucking up 12 hours a day at 60 dollars an hour and the Law of the Company has given the scabs the fear that we can not give them. I think that the truth and anonymous need to spend more time together. I can’t imagine telling a manager that never worked on a forty foot pole before to get out and fix that sucker or you are going to lose your job either but Aliant can and has. I think the old childrens rymne about Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me is completely lost on anonymous. BTW the scabs are protected by several branchs of Canadian Rights & freedoms languages ,the Labor Board and the Safty branch from being such scabs but they chose that avenue. To bad ,So Sad but then again we are fighting to keep some of Aliant’s 9000 employees in the Maritimes. I guess anonymous won’t miss those stupid striker friends of hers that dared to call a spade a scab. Our company has reduced its Unionized employees to 4300 out of 9000 and only they 4300 have the collective balls to say enough is enough.

Blue's Clues's picture
Blue's Clues on June 28, 2004 - 12:59

In response to anonymous who uses the term pots?
Sounds like a little telco knowledge there …..
Good shot in the arm for someones,scab friend …

Time will tell how good this company can do without
staff who know how to do the job!

Blue's Clues's picture
Blue's Clues on June 28, 2004 - 13:10

Also Tillie,if you wait 10 mins and think up a name,Tillie does sound better than anonymous!
TTFN
Ta Ta For Now :)

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 30, 2004 - 19:41

After a week of not having heard back, I phoned Aliant again. This time I was connected to a rather more honest than usual manager, who told me to just pay what I think I owe. He said that, honestly, nobody was every going to call me back, as they were concentrating all of their resources on “keeping services going.”

Picket Chick's picture
Picket Chick on July 17, 2004 - 01:30

Peter, again, I can only apologize for your treatment. It’s not hard to tell that business at Aliant is anything but ‘usual’(unless you count the past 2 1/2 months of customer ‘service’ being their new grade of “usual”)…I’ve heard several people claim they’ve been told the same…”pay what you think you owe…”…and, “when the strikers get back to work, they’ll fix it up”, should have been attached to that. I can’t for the life of me understand the tactic and utter lack of customer service that the company is pushing forth. I can only hope that when we get back to work we can aim to bandage all the wounds that they’ve opened. Again, thanks for your continued support of our efforts. “Exploratory talks” have unfortunately failed this week, so we’re in it for a while longer…It’s a shame, but we really must keep the heart of what we’re fighting for on the forefront, as now more than ever, we need it the most.

Union all the way's picture
Union all the way on July 21, 2004 - 10:59

I am a striking Bell oops Aliant employee who is tired of seeing picketers smile and stand by passivaly sometimes chatting or even embracing the SCABS going thru our picket lines.
These scabs do not have the balls to refuse to do our work and are scabing our paychecks as we struggle to feed our kids and keep our homes.Collectivlt they could make a big difference in ending this strike IF THEY BANDED TOGEATHER and did only the jobs they were hired to do.
The “I feel so Bad” and “Im behind you “shit is a joke !!!!
Yopu sure learn who your true supporters are fast.

Come on picketers lets punch it up a notch and let these SCABS know how we feel about them continuing to prolong this strike!!!

Unionn all the way

Ken's picture
Ken on July 21, 2004 - 13:22

Didn’t you save any of those fat pay cheques you’re used to getting? Welcome to my world, earning money instead of being on the gravy train. Suck it up brother!

Laurie's picture
Laurie on July 30, 2004 - 15:26

The managers are doing your job because you are not. You collectively agreed to walk off the job over 3 months ago and you are complaining that someone else is doing your job. Somebody’s got to do it. You cry you worry about customer service. Then go back to work. Or don’t complain when somebody is trying to serve the customers.

And if anyone thinks asking customers to switch their long-distance carriers while on strike then believing they will switch back when the strike is over, give your head a shake.

You want job security? Then don’t ask people to switch to another carrier for anything. They won’t all come back. If there is less work, Aliant will require less people. That means layoffs.

Proud To Be Union's picture
Proud To Be Union on July 30, 2004 - 18:09

We didn’t go on strike Laurie. We were forced to take strike action because Aliant wants to remove about 5000 to 6000 jobs from its payroll in the near future. We want to prevent that kind of outsourcing and contracting out from happening as we happen to like our jobs. Aliant made 177 million dollars proffit in 2002 & 303 million in 2003 plus they had 6500 union and management workers chomping at the bit to access the 320 million that the Federal government alloted for hifh speed internet provisions through out the Maritimes. The company lost 21 million dollars outright trying to bust the backs and starve its workers. When our Clerical business reps gals (lot are single moms) were leaving Scotia Square to carry Union placards they were told by managers , You will be first to crawl back because you need the money. We have incidents of AFI (Big money Union busting Ontario security) coming to Halifax strike lines and asking our ladies if they are hungry enough to do a blow job yet for $50. You have no idea what we are fighting for nor off what we are up against.Those ladies love thier work and that is why they are fighting so hard to stay in Atantic Canada and keep thier family home. I had a more astute lady then you observe something yesterday. She noted that only a company keeps workers out for greed ,workers stay out this long for survival not greed. She is a well respected Business woman here in Cape Breton. Also had my local Liberal MP drop by my Pitt street lines in Sydney yesterday. He knows me to be Tory Blue because of my family background. He is disgusted with Aliant attempt at breaking the Union label as he knows it means lost customer service and employees to Telco greed based out of Bay street Ontario.

I also note that CIRB is conviening to meet with Aliant and Union reps to get full disclosure of just how many scabs are working. Truth is 1800 number will pale in comparrison. Also note that this means the company HAS to give full disclosure which could include the number and amount of money being spent on private security. Also note that we have round the clock survielence taking place on all picketers on the line and for a majority in thier homes. Aliant has had three months taping on video & recording on Electronic evedroping devices our homes in the broad daylight or as we go to bed at night. If we have a conversation about work related picket lines the AFI thugs are able to listen to those converations in our homes as well as our family arguments,who is breaking under stree or who says screw it lets make love hon. You have no idea what a cold calculating company Aliant has become under its present business planners. I refuse to knuckle or kneel or quit b ut you better know my losses today as a Canadian Citizen are your losses tomorrow.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on July 30, 2004 - 18:22

Real sorry about the way Aliant is treating it’s customers because you are the legs that carry the backbone (employees) of Aliant. Its the head and brains of Aliant that are screwed up. You want quality service and we want to get payed and do those services for a company that wants to stay around for a few centuries. Knowing those goals to be relevent for all businesses ,don’t you find it strange that they want to exchange employees all the time while downgrading services. Not rocket science to see whom enjoys screwing whom and dosen’t want to pay for the screwwing. In fact they want customers,Atlantic regioned employees and stock holders to pay them for screwing us. Jay Forbes (Aliant CEO) made a few thousand short of two million dollars this year and has a 36 month severence package contract set up for himself. Have you been kissed because, it certainly looks like Jay is screwing you out of the quality service you used to enjoy Peter.

Laurie's picture
Laurie on July 30, 2004 - 18:58

Proud to be Union, you state that Aliant wants to remove 5000-6000 jobs from it’s payroll, but correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t Aliants entire staff about 6000 people or so? So that would mean that everybody is being laid off.

You weren’t forced to go on strike, you chose to. And thus doing so you (collectively) are showing Aliant just how many people they can operate with — or without in this case.

I don’t like hearing about downsizing in any company, however, it is a sad fact of the world today. And the best way to prevent from being downsized is to be proactive in your career. Stay on the cutting edge, continue educating yourselves as much as possible. Basically, take responsibility for your own life.

One more point, you seem to be putting a lot of faith in the union to protect you from the “big bad business”, but just remember, a union is a business too. And it’s first and foremost thought is to keep itself alive. You employees don’t come first with the union.

You pay union dues to the union, that’s it’s income. The union doesn’t want any employees let go because that hurts its bottom line by having fewer people paying dues. Your dues are a percentage of your earnings. Thus, they want you to make more because that gives them more money.

Al O'Neill's picture
Al O'Neill on July 30, 2004 - 19:20

Saying something is a “fact of life” doesn’t make it so. If Aliant chooses a marginal increase in profits over the wellbeing of its workers this is what will happen.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 30, 2004 - 19:41

Jeese, Laurie — what else did you miss about the 20th century other than the union movement and collective bargaining? That is the entire point is not having to be stuck individually with the whims of business — if you can call a monopolistic entity larded with government preference a business. It’s pretty apparent you come to the question anti-union but even that cant justify pretending the alternative for workers is to take some evening classes and “be pro-active” about “getting ahead”. If everyone did that we’d have no one doeing these tasks.

If the economy needs workers below the management level — which it always will — we are all better off due to the work of the unions to make sure conditions for these workers are as good as they can be to get more money into the hands of people who spend it locally and maintain the economy, the worker. Call unions a business, call it levelling the playing field. If you do not understand that, maybe you did miss the 20th century.

Laurie's picture
Laurie on July 30, 2004 - 19:42

If Aliant chooses a marginal increase in profits as you say, they will not have the cash flow necessary to upgrate their systems, lines, etc. and to inovate new products to keep them competive in a market where competitivness is key. This is a deregulated market now where there are many players vying for your dollars. In order to keep existing customers and encourage new customers, they need to have an “edge” and obtaining that edge costs R&D money. With marginal profits, there is no R&D money.

Laurie's picture
Laurie on July 30, 2004 - 20:01

Alan, I’m well aware of the 20th century and the union movement and the collective bargaining process. However, I also know it is out of date for most businesses. Unions came into being around the turn of the last century because the working conditions were beyond horendous. Union and non-Union shops alike do not have those working conditions any more. Their next tackle was reasonable pay. That was before the days of minimum wage. While I agree that minimum wage is not enough to live on unless you are 16 living with mum and dad, it is a step in the right direction. But today, a company will pay the least amount that people will work for that is at least minimum wage. If you don’t like the pay, find a different job.

I’m sure each and every Aliant employee is paid well for what they do, have an attractive benefits package, and decent working conditions. I’m sure there are thousands of Maritimer’s who would gladly take any of your jobs and be happy.

But are you saying that individuals should not have to be responsible for their life? Are you saying that Aliant owes them a living? Not so. We are each responsible for ourselves. If you don’t like where you work, find another job. If you do like where you work, good for you. If you want to move ahead in your career, you need to take care of that.

And the economy does need people doing every out there. Driving cabs, cleaning schools, CEOs, etc. Every job is required to be filled. And you always will have that.

Al O'Neill's picture
Al O'Neill on July 30, 2004 - 20:45

I always hear the ‘unions are obsolete’ argument and it still doesn’t hold much water. There’s an implicit assumption in there that societies can’t regress, that living conditions will always stay high or get higher ‘just because’. There are numerous historical counter-examples, of course, the most striking example might be WalMart, employing a million people at the bare minimum that the law will allow, buying sweat-shop goods from overseas suppliers and taking moral offense at the idea that workers might want to get together to ask for a little better than what they have. Companies can’t be trusted, in the modern business environment, to treat workers decently it seems. So saying unions are obsolete is not just untrue, it’s the opposite of the truth.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 30, 2004 - 21:00

Al’s right. Claiming being a union member (never been one) is not taking responsibility for yourself is a load of horse pucks. You want a modern non-union environment, check out third world sweat shop. Westray was one, too, come to think of it. Just because the theoretical but fictious “hungry for work” may be out there should not eliminate the right for people to organize. Thank God they did and thank God they still do. Go back to your Ayn Rand.

Laurie's picture
Laurie on July 30, 2004 - 21:12

I never said to be a union member is to not be responsible for yourself. I know some who are both. What I’m talking about is those — and there’s plenty of them — that do expect a company to take care of them for the rest of their working life. That when they know there is not much work for them in their current company, they do not go out and look for other work. Or take steps to make sure they are employable. But still expect unions to ensure they are always employed. Regardless.

And as for Al’s comment that companies can’t be trusted, it goes back to what I said previously: A union is a business first and foremost. It’s first priority is to look after itself. Keep it’s bottom line alive and doing well. Aka, make a profit.

That profit is made off the unionized employees’ backs.

John Malkovich's picture
John Malkovich on July 31, 2004 - 11:50

Unions are businesses too?? What a strange concept… I guess that means we should be suspicious of them… or is the point really that we should treat them with the kind of deference I suspect these managers would like to see applied to companies? Actually, unions don’t have anything like the same raison d’etre as businesses, so this is just nonsense. Is this what they teach in business school???

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on July 31, 2004 - 20:42

Laurie
Friday, July 30, 2004 at 14:58 ADT [LINK]

Proud to be Union, you state that Aliant wants to remove 5000-6000 jobs from it’s payroll, but correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t Aliants entire staff about 6000 people or so? So that would mean that everybody is being laid off.”

That is what people say when they do not know the truth nor the issues. We have 9000 employees at Aliant of which 4300 are unionized,2200 are managers and another 2500 are traded between our subsiduaries Xwave & innovatia. We also have a few engineers, building managers and marketers as managers being payed by Bell these days. The Union can not seem to get a handle on how many Bell managers are getting Bell paychecks although they work at Aliant. Because of the ability to throw a switch and call center outsource jobs or contract them out ,we can lose 5000 to 6000 jobs out of maritime economy quite easily.

You weren’t forced to go on strike, you chose to. And thus doing so you (collectively) are showing Aliant just how many people they can operate with — or without in this case.”

First let me assure you that you are a victim of Aliar lies. Chuck Hartland Vice President of Aliant Mobility said to our union folk a week ago on PEI,”don’t believe it when they tell you we are all caught up guys, the system is falling apart and there is no way we can keep up.”

You haven’t a clue how many scabs are working at Aliant these days as they spent 21 million outright to bust this Union by Forcing us out to the streets Laurie. You will be eating the 1800 looking after 4300 lie by the middle of August. The truth is Aliant has to make full disclosure of how many scabs are out there in middle of August because a Conviening of CIRB is demanding that full disclosure. Seems the CIRB knows that Aliant is 21 million down because they are losing that much due to INCREASED labour costs by forcing us into the streets. The CRTC government regulator also has had well over 2000 irate customer calls because Aliant is not serving it’s customers without it’s highly skilled work force. It was so bad at CRTC a few weeks ago that even they were hanging up on Aliant customers. Also note worthy is the fact that 811 calls can take days to get through on and the CRTC is disgusted over that fact of Aliant’s business plan at customers loss. More noteworthy and verifyed by managers who want the truth to get out is a backlog of access care troubles over 4 weeks old numbering 15,000. Access care are straight toubles not new installs,new service programming (ex:call waiting) or our worse nightmare incorrect Billing. Again noteworthy is the verifyed fact from inside managers that the CRTC will never see majority of troubles because they are paper copied so as not to be in the computer sysem where CRTC can track them. Call the CRTC and presto your trouble gets switched from paper to soft ware. Neat but not very honest for customer nor the regulator. We were forced out on the streets Laurie to keep the jobs we love serving the customers that we are seeing Aliant chasing away in droves.

I don’t like hearing about downsizing in any company, however, it is a sad fact of the world today.”

Only because businesses that will be around a hundred years to 5 hundred years from now have convinced the workers & public that is the line to follow. Truth be known ,a company that expects to be around 100 years should be offering long term employment and rewards to help carry the brand.

The new industrial revolution started because Henry Ford knew that line to be a croc of crap and he proved it by paying his staff and making long term brand employees of them. Youngsters today need to know the world can be a better place if they don’t allow such downsizing logic to over rule common sense. My company made 177 million in 2002 ,308 million in 2004 and 38 million first quarter of 2004 while putting out capital expenses for top notch upgrades of 70 million and had access to 320 million from Federal government which was ear marked for High Speed growth markets and available for Aliant’s 6500 union and managers to garnish the lions share of. They through all that away trying to break a Union so the public could once more give a thumbs up to downsizing logic. Sick. They made the proffits from Skilled employees giving 95 to 100% approval ratings from the customers. Aliant wins and the customer loses as well as the employee. Also more waits will be the norm as more call minder avenues will tie up call ins. We want expediant service which means more people should be ready to accept calls not less.

And the best way to prevent from being downsized is to be proactive in your career. Stay on the cutting edge, continue educating yourselves as much as possible. Basically, take responsibility for your own life.”

Sheeesssh woman who the hell do you think you are talking to? We are not the uneducated unskilled morons you think we are!!!! All of us are inputting to our community many tasks which prove your appraisals are down right silly. I have coached all levels of hockey from tot to Midget AA ditto baseball. I have served on the Help line Board as a director! I have Served on the CNIB board as a director. I have served on various political committes ,am a Church Elder, Have served as a director of our local community boards and raised a Dalhousie Graduate with Deans list listing and A computer High tech Anaylist & support worker with collage degrees to prove his excellence. Both are in Ontario now because they can not get around your logic in the Maritimes. My Wife served on as many boards as me and she now serves on the Community Health Board for Cape Breton Region. I am an average Joe at the telephone company. Please take your blinders off Laurie! You have become to linear in your approach to big business feeding swill down the niave throats of our younger grads.

One more point, you seem to be putting a lot of faith in the union to protect you from the “big bad business”, but just remember, a union is a business too. And it’s first and foremost thought is to keep itself alive. You employees don’t come first with the union.”

You are full of Shit Laurie. Everyone of us becomes first the day we decide nobody will be LAST!

You pay union dues to the union, that’s it’s income. The union doesn’t want any employees let go because that hurts its bottom line by having fewer people paying dues. Your dues are a percentage of your earnings. Thus, they want you to make more because that gives them more money.”

Are you really that narrow minded Laurie. The union has operating costs and they have business sense which is why they put money in a strike fund to begin with. They always knew a strike fund is needed for rainy days. I put money into a strike fund for thirty years. I also put money into my health expenses . The Union now carries those expenses and passes out strike pay to 4300 employees. The company forced 4300 employees into the street and cut off thier medical expenses in hope of starving us out. They get a small percentage of what I make Laurie, whereas the company wants one hundred percent. That is why I walk the picket line as an Atlantic Canadian given the power collectively to protect my job from niave paper tigers like you.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on July 31, 2004 - 20:57

Sorry that should have bee 308 million in 2003 with first quarter 2004 of 38 m illion. For thousands of years humans were harvested for thier brawn by big business like the coal mines or steel plants and thier brains were kept illiterate which gave companys a real strong advantage over The masses called workers. Then along came Unions with a push towards decent living conditions,safety standards and then for 60 to 70 years a middle class was developed which became the modern day consumer and economy driver. One of the first things those workers strove for was an education for thier children which caused the greatest spurt of knowledge and developement the world has ever known. Now the big business gurus are striving to harvest the next generations for thier brains but they WILL FAIL. Reason: Workers children are losing the tax base,the purchasing power to survive,build homes,pay student loans and own cars let alone raise an EDUCATED FAMILY. Big business plans like Laurie offers will be an end to the educationed middle class environment which took everyone so far because Unions gave everyone a chance. Now big business,governments and the courts are causing a fall back to a wider gap between rich and poor with no middle class. Sad really!.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on July 31, 2004 - 21:18

With refference to Tillies Silly comments above and Anonymous I will note something to show just how asinine the commentary is. MT&T did a cost quality & Quanity study as they were getting ready for the merger. I suspect all four Atlantic Region companies did. Reason mostly was to see how our customers viewed us and what our return for value was.

Various things were tracked on everyone of our customer related services from neatness to appearance of the worker to if the customer was pleased. The average for the province worked out to be 95.7% from customers being very very pleased with the service provided by the employees of Nova Scotia MT&T at the time. I rated 5th to 1st highest in CST service Quality and quantity of work. They would not tell me if I was first or fifth but my rating was almost 99.3% over a twelve month period, which tells me we were all over 90% approved by our customers. We have not changed our work ethic nor our desire to be the high quality professionals we were then. Aliant has changed the focus though as they cut employees and customer servies. How do you think the customers wll gain if 5000 to 6000 jobs are out sourced or contracted out to fly by nighters? If Aliant didn’t have that plan they would sign a contract hiking pension 2% for 70% of it’s work force over the next five years and thus garantee the remaining 30 % long term employment. They are trying to sell Xwave & Innovatia jobs no matter where they go. They are setting up 2200 managers and 4300 managers to be suffering serious number losses or they would take the 2% hit over the next five years and then attrition would look after the other 30%. Not Rocket science to see Aliant’s cause is not customer services nor employees,it is a major sell off of our customer services for short term gains and long term be damned business.

President's picture
President on August 1, 2004 - 04:10

As a striker it must be hard to be rational about the strike. Don’t you think your heart speaks louder than your mind at this point? I know mine would. Also you are in an echo chamber; listening to other strikers all day.

As an outsider you have no idea. So this conversation is bound to boil over and meeting in the middle is probably as likely as a new contract at his point.

As a self employed computer/technology service in Prince County I can honestly say $200 (equal to the strike pay) a week is more than I usually earn. On the other hand my cost of living is so low that I get by. As far as job security, I’ve gone weeks without any income. It is a small market.

I used to earn 20.35/hr at MT&T as a CO man in North Street Toll office until being laid off in 1996. That was because the senior dominated union chose to get a pay increase of three percent and left us junior guys out to dry. At the union meeting (Wandlyn Inn, Bedford Hwy) I remember young guys standing up and making the case to pass on the increase so they could keep thier job. “What about our pensions” cried the senior guys.

So the union was looking out for the interest of the majority, not the litle guy. In day to day work the extreme job security meant extreme goofing off by some with little or no consequence. And anyone trying to get promoted was given the gears — it led to mundane work and mundane workers. Reminded me of high school.

In a way I feel for my former union brothers and sisters, they are after all decne t people for the most part. There is actually a moment during your orientation when you have a choice to join or not join the union. Choosing not to was never heard of, and God knows how it would have been to be the guy who didn’t join, probably like being the only normal person in special ed class.

My point is that everyone on strike wants only the benefits of the union — job security (the kind you can tell the boss to fuckoff and still have a job), top pay (what do Aliant workers get paid? $50k), and brotherhood. Along with all that comes strikes every few years. Strike with pay even!

I understand that Bell is transferring work to Ontario & Quebec, and that this strike is different. But shouldn’t you be thankful for the wonderful years you’ve had?

As far as the economy depending on you, and your tax dollars supporting the middle class I think that makes you feel rightous, especially given your state of mind right now. However, the world (even PEI’s small world) doesn’t revolve around you and will be exactly the same when you don’t get your paycheque from Aliant.

Finally, I want every striker to think about life after their job at Aliant. It’s something I should have done more of, and it will be a shock. But you will be ok, in fact you might be better off. Depends on your ability to look out for yourself, something the Union does for you now.

Good luck, and welcome to my world.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 1, 2004 - 05:07

Nice defeated attitude you got going there president. I never voted for the 1996 contract either bec ause I warned the juniours in Sydney they were signibg thier own execution papers. They were the ones that signed yes where I signed no to protect thier jobs. My righteous words come from knowing my business numbers on Aliant prove thier greed is all about getting away from customers service and employees. All giant Corporations have people defeated because they are afraid to fight b ack n ot because they think the big corps are being honest. Guys like you cry jealousy because I manage to retain my job which our stats show to be much superior to the generalizations you offer president. The numbers and proffits are earned by us and payed by the customers but the company doesn’t want to service those customers,only charge them more for not having the skilled labour force they once had. If I were a defeated curr I might try to welcome myself to your world President but I have the right and the freedom to stay away from a defeat such as yours. Besides the pensioners and the juniors all are fightening for each other this time. That is our pact between us as we strike for all not one or the other.

President's picture
President on August 1, 2004 - 15:36

When I see you on the picket line I will think “look at the winners”.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 1, 2004 - 22:56

When I see you driving bye with that scowl on your face I will think “Look at the loser who never understood that time changes all but fighting for what you believe in is never a loss.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 1, 2004 - 23:03

When I see you driving by with that scowl on your face I will think ,”loser never ubderstood that time may change everything but fighting for what you believe in is never a loss.”

Blue's Clues's picture
Blue's Clues on August 4, 2004 - 02:00

Mr.President …you once earned $20.35 hr with MT&T ….
Now you struggle in the “real world!”
With a union behind you,aliant workers make a decent wage.
with a union behind you,aliant workers have medical insurance….
I am sure if the chance to be rehired was presented,you would be back in a heartbeat.
The union movement is far from dead…it’s growing to the
dismay of Walmart types….
Why work 2 jobs and struggle,because people say I’ll do that job cheaper than the other guy….
What happens,now you got to work 3 jobs to make ends meet…
People have to stand-up and say “We are worth more than this!”
Union people live in the real world as you do,but we fight
in what we believe in… we never give up!

Jonathan's picture
Jonathan on August 4, 2004 - 02:59

All this makes me happy I’m getting eastlink or my telephone and internet …

Ken's picture
Ken on August 4, 2004 - 03:15

I’m self employed, no corporation, no union. Just me and my skills in a small market I call home. My monthly expenses are less than my income, my house and car are paid for, I have no debt. I am free and I live by my skills, which gives me pride. I’m thankful I live in Canada where I have medical coverage. I’m busy every day working, volunteering, and doing things I enjoy.

A job at Aliant? Sitting in a cubicle and the office politics; they’d have to pay me a lot more than $20/hour to spend my precious days on this earth like that. Maybe if I had my own van…

I wish a quick return to your desks and vans with a pay increase and a lifetime job at Aliant. We will all be better for it. Bon courage mes amis!

Ken's picture
Ken on August 4, 2004 - 03:16

Jon’s got gmail!

Jonathan's picture
Jonathan on August 4, 2004 - 03:24

Apparently I don’t . Thanks for trying though .

Jonathan's picture
Jonathan on August 4, 2004 - 21:40

Oh you meant i had an account . silly rabbit . no more invites though .

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 5, 2004 - 16:59

Hi Ken

I love my job and enjoy the commaradery in Sydney between the different folk I live and work with 40 hours a week. I enjoy the Maritime customers I serve and rapport I have with the offices outside my immediate juristiction. I also enjoy the input of a few PEI buds who do the same work as I do. Life could be very profittable and good for the customers employees and Atlantic regioned shareholders but Aliant has become a symbol of what the Nothern Carpet baggers brought to the South after the Civil War. Difference being one Carpet Bagger called Ma Bell is out to carpet bag all Atlantic Canadians.

One entry found for carpetbagger.

Main Entry: car

Aliant God's picture
Aliant God on August 12, 2004 - 00:06

All you strikers suck! Have fuin when Christmas rolls around and your kids have nothing!! Sending them to school in used clothes too?

I hope you freeze in Feb when you are still all on strike!

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 12, 2004 - 03:16

Aliant “Jay” God.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 at 20:06 ADT [LINK]
All you strikers suck! Have fuin when Christmas rolls around and your kids have nothing!! Sending them to school in used clothes too?

I hope you freeze in Feb when you are still all on strike!”

Hi Jay! How you Doing and is Frank Fagan still getting #3 #3pound 7 and off into never never land??? I see your contract for 8 million dollars from Aliant a company you only served for two years hasn’t made you any more compassionate. Those are the exact words our upper Escheloned managers envisioned for the people whose families they wanted to crush. Lots of class in Management at Aliant. Cut the medical plan off first in case we had sick children that might need the plan. Then try to criminalize us or starve us into submission. Ain’t you big business types grand?

old school's picture
old school on April 13, 2005 - 17:30

how are things at aliant now

Breaking News's picture
Breaking News on November 8, 2015 - 21:46

Former CEO of Aliant - Jay Forbes - is now CEO for MTS Allstream in Ontario and Manitoba. Jobs are already being lost!!!

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