Aliant Stealth Tactics

If you frequent the area of Queen and Fitzroy in Charlottetown, you are well aware that our brothers and sisters at Aliant have been on strike for several weeks now. And if you’ve been paying really close attention, you will have seen the Aliant security force hiding out in a white Chevy Cavalier coupe across the street, presumably poised to shoot any strikers that get out of line or try to say, secretly switch 411 and 911.

In a very sneaky move this morning, Aliant switched the white Chevy Cavalier coupe to a red Chevy Cavalier coupe. As a result, it’s almost like the security force isn’t even there.


Isaac's picture
Isaac on May 12, 2004 - 15:25 Permalink

They were also very stealthily videotaping the strikers from the dash yesterday as I walked by.

Andrew Chisholm's picture
Andrew Chisholm on May 12, 2004 - 15:42 Permalink

If I owned an empire I’d be doing the same thing… Only I’d be giving my team gas guzzling SUVs fully loaded with only the best in espionage equipment. yeah…

Nils Ling's picture
Nils Ling on May 12, 2004 - 16:58 Permalink

According to the Guardian, a whole whack of Aliant employees have been suspended for “picket line antics” — presumably captured on videotape by the double-naught spies in their fancy schmancy Aston Martins — er, Cavaliers.

Not to provoke or encourage anything — and my disdain for Unions is well-documented — but if I were being placed under surveillance while doing something that was not just legal but was my responsibility as part of a legally-constituted and recognized organization, I might just get a bit testy with whoever was videotaping me.

This strike is tough on me — my contempt for unions is matched or exceeded only by my loathing for Aliant.

Will Pate's picture
Will Pate on May 12, 2004 - 18:10 Permalink

The other day I parked next to the security lady as I took some pictures for my gallery (they didn’t turn out). She asked me what I was taking them for and I said “The Internet”. I had been waiting for an excuse to say I was from The Internet since I saw I Am Furious Yellow. She suddenty became very animated once I had establised my credibility and then proceeded to tell me that if I had taken pictues of me she would break my camera. When my eyebrows shot up she fumbled through an explanation that it would be due to her ugliness, not physical violence. I rolled up my windows and drove away without giving the flattering remark she was fishing for.

Chris's picture
Chris on May 13, 2004 - 13:34 Permalink

Their intelligence must have revealed that has blown their cover… I noticed that today the stealth force has moved back to the white car. From my observations I have concluded that their stealth powers are derived from smoking cigarette after cigarette, drinking liters of Coke, and doing a book of crossword puzzles each shift.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on May 13, 2004 - 13:38 Permalink

My sources tell me the might not be doing crossword puzzles, but word searches.

Alan's picture
Alan on May 13, 2004 - 14:48 Permalink

Can surveillance of the surveillance be set up via a web cam?

Ken's picture
Ken on May 13, 2004 - 20:49 Permalink

I know in Summerside they shooed off some videographers I know, who were just in it for the historical spectacle. God knows visually the Aliant strikers are quite striking; given Summersides bleak visuosity.

People of the internet: digital video and the internet are powerful agents in the revolution upon us The Revolution of transparency. Even for internet infrastructure custodians in a town where transparency and open bookedness were in abundance new ways abound to be nosy.

Anony-moose's picture
Anony-moose on May 14, 2004 - 16:36 Permalink

Two things:

1) I have heard stories about aliant manager’s tires being slashed in their driveway at home. The managers don’t have much of a choice when it comes to working while everyone’s on strike. Sure they can refuse to work but that’s basically career suicide. I think the security being there is a smart move on aliant’s part, mob syndrom seems to make people think they can do things that they would normally never do.

2) Will, that rent-a-cop couldn’t break your camera, especially if you are on public property. You could press assult charges if she tried to and probably sue aliant for the cost of a replacement camera. Regardless I would call Aliant and file a complaint against her, people like that have no business being security guards.

Nils's picture
Nils on May 14, 2004 - 19:57 Permalink

Can you sue for a new camera if you take a picture of an ugly person and the camera breaks?

I love that Will is representing “The Internet” … although I’d feel better if The Prez had issued him some credentials.

Striker # 275's picture
Striker # 275 on May 22, 2004 - 04:18 Permalink

Well, being an Aliant Striker we can’t take pictures of them taking pictures of us, due to the current injuction. What a shame, it was sooo muuuch fun!

Further more, all I want to do is picket peacefully, and let the (Unionized manager scabs CEP Local 902) know I’m still OUT here, and will be returning to you SOON!

Will Pate's picture
Will Pate on May 23, 2004 - 03:39 Permalink

Dan may be the Prez but I am the original PEI blogger and therefore I make my own rules.

Protecting Job with a freaken 's picture
Protecting Job ... on May 25, 2004 - 20:44 Permalink

Striker here from Sydney Nova Scotia. The reasons Telco Unions are needed is to protect the workers incomes & securities towards their own retirements. I wonder at the collective brain power being offered to the North Americasn workers today by our business hierarchy. Despite the idealogy that the market is better served by employees having no benifit or pension packages it should be obvious to the most astute businessmen that our Maritime economy now works on the pensioners coat tails. Those plans were faught for by past union hardships and strike lines. The only thing which has changed is not the coroporate greed of the upper echelon CEO’s and Boards who tax the consummeer for less services and the workers through job losses and reduced ability to provide for their families by cutting those same services which are provided by the work force.

Nova Scotia alone had 4500 employees a few short years ago. We now have 6500 employees covering 2 million resident and 80,000 busines customers over the combined land mass of Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island & Nova Scotia. BTW those vidiographers are from Bell Telephone hirelings out of “First Strike Company,” based in Missasaga Ontario. Bell owns 53 % of Aliant and Toronto’s Bay Street is using Maritime Telco workers to send a message to it’s own Quebec and Ontario workers. As for the point about the managers having no choice. That is true because they had thier backbones removed the day they put on the white hat. Here in Nova Scotia the scab Managers who forced themselves across picket lines & into MT&T buildings during 1996 strike soon found themselves being escorted out of those same buildings by MT&T security as they fired quite a few of them in the ensuing years. Bad as it is to be on strike I would much rather be on my side then on the management side. It is much more honorable to fight for something as simple as feeding a family, then it is to fight against that moral value. I wonder what the future holds for the companies that can not sell their products because nopbody can afford them. The internet will be better served if the pensioners can afford telephones & internet services let alone the price od a computer.

After working 30 years at Aliant a worker faces a 55% wage reduction and could be 48 years old to age 60 trying to live on that reduced salary. Meanwhile the compasny was told by the Federal Government to stop putting money into the pension fund because it was saturated more then ten years ago. Despite that pension holiday the company rewards its upper managers with millions of dollars in stock options and refuses to negotiate higher then the 45% of wage scales the 30 year Telco Union veteran faces.

For knowing these things and for standing up to the Company we are now subject to vidio cops from Ontario trying to inmtimidate us with their presence. They can suck eggs as far as this striker is concerned and I could care less as I don’t plan on breaking or even blinking.

Aliant set out to break up a union,instead they have created one.

Wolfman's picture
Wolfman on May 31, 2004 - 02:51 Permalink

Hello I’m also a striker from Nova Scotia. I am aware of all the BS in the media and that it is mostely controlled by the telephone company and it’s owners.And I wish that the media would report the facts, instead of all the dribble that I read . First of all it’s not about wages. It’s about the crappy language that I read in that rag that the company brought back to the table. And for the record yes it was turned down,and we are going to wait untill they have the garbage taken out to the curb and replaced with a more appropriate piece of legible parchement. Thanks for your web space R.D.

j shaffer's picture
j shaffer on June 2, 2004 - 21:51 Permalink

Hello all„ We are the strikers from the VALLEY (Kentville N.S.) Looks like it’s gonna be a long one. but we assure you we are dug in at Strike Base Alpha for the long haul.. Check out 100’s of pictures on our website at………. (no www needed)

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on June 3, 2004 - 12:27 Permalink

Hello Striker.

We are dug in at Camp Wanna A decent Contract Keltic Drive and Pit Streets Sydney Nova Scotia. Not one decenting voice among us. Jay Forbes made a Union.

DC's picture
DC on June 4, 2004 - 21:25 Permalink

Lord Tunderin! The grammar on dem union folks…metinks dey must be in Aliant’s marketing dept.

Tired of the Mentality's picture
Tired of the Me... on June 9, 2004 - 14:15 Permalink

It’s time that those who feel they are due something more in life get off their butts and find it. Stop blaming your shortfalls on the company you chose to work for. If you would take a moment to look outside your own little worlds you’d see that a company such as Aliant simply cannot stay competitive when it is pressured by it’s union to pay more for less work. One day you may look around and see an industry disapear as you’ve asked too much of it. God forbid that ever happen in the maritimes.

Regardless of what the union leadership says you all know who is responsible for the latest bout of sabotage and you all know that this is just one of many. How dare you put other peoples lives at risk.

disgruntled ex-supporter's picture
disgruntled ex-... on June 9, 2004 - 22:42 Permalink

What if that manager is only doing what his boss tells him? What if that manager has a home and bills that have to be paid? Just because he is a manager is it OK for you to send hate mail to his wife and kids and threaten their safety? Shame on You for those acts! Everyone suffers from a strike, however, you will not get joe and jane average homeowner to side with your fight when you continue to use gestapo tactics against harmless women and children. Fight with those who can facilitate change.. Aliant owners!!! Leave the families alone.

hammer's picture
hammer on June 11, 2004 - 00:38 Permalink

Aliant simply cannot stay competitive when it is pressured by its union to pay more for less work.”

Response to this kind of, ‘mentality’,

Jay Forbes salary 2oo1 —  248,000.oo ! plus,plus..

Jay Forbes salary 2003  — 543,000.oo !plus,plus..

Jay Forbes Salary increase over 2 years of time = 100 %

(Union members have pretty well agreed to accept a 2.5 % per year raise in salary retro to 2002 — other critical items remain disputed)

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on June 11, 2004 - 01:15 Permalink

From tired of the Mentality we get this ignorant rant.

It’s time that those who feel they are due something more in life get off their butts and find it. Stop blaming your shortfalls on the company you chose to work for. If you would take a moment to look outside your own little worlds you’d see that a company such as Aliant simply cannot stay competitive when it is pressured by it’s union to pay more for less work.”

You are as silly as a freaken bed bug and it is your mentality which is suspect bud. Aliant has enjoyed great growth while the customers are getting less service and the average small potato stock holder gets the shaft. Forbes and his upper echelon team are raping the coffers of the Aliant machinery and don’t want give credit to the people who have earned that wealth for Aliant. Without us Unionists and low level managers the company wouldn’t have its Maritime flavor. BTW I now work in a field that was indexed for 4 employees to cover 6 years ago and I cover it by myself these days. I have an index that was 15.9 or just 2 points shy of 3 mens workload. I cover a district that requires 2 and one half hours to drive from one end to the other and I have been called at 5 o’clock in the morning to fix peoples phones by the customers themselves. Ignorant people like you and your self righteous indignation are hardly worth commenting on other then to show what a bug you are. My forman puts so much faith in me that he told me 8 years ago that I would never see him at a job site. HE TOLD ME THE TRUTH.

One day you may look around and see an industry disapear as you’ve asked too much of it. God forbid that ever happen in the maritimes.

You in your ignorance have failed to understand why we are on strike. We are not asking for more money pin head. We are asking the company to keep the jobs here in the maritimes. We are quite happy with the wage proposal although we are disgusted at the upper echelons wages. Our CEO has only worked at Aliant for 2 years and can fly our company jet anywhere in North America because he is living off the company we built and which he bilks out of his customers,small potato shareholders and employees.

regardless of what the union leadership says you all know who is responsible for the latest bout of sabotage and you all know that this is just one of many. How dare you put other peoples lives at risk.

Just another piece of ignorance fropm No mentality. We had about 4 hundred managers who were fired at Aliant in one cut after the last strike. Those guys and gals don’t like the union because we calleed them out as scabs and because we WARNED them that MT&T would cut them free. They don’t like the company because they were lied to during the strike and Joe Unions words of contempt and warning were only to true. Then you can add all the Aliant managers who got knifed in the years since the merger. Then you can be assured that the public is pissed off at Aliant right now because Aliant TV two Pinnocio sisters Reid & Gallant are saying one thing while the customer is knowing the lies at Aliant service central are esculating. Some companies in history have been known to do this kind of damage themselves to turn the public against a targeted union. There are lots of senarios which point tangents that are to numerous to mention. The damage you mention in communities I serve are not helping me or the union. That is a message contant and we unionists know it. Our Union leaders also hammer home the message to our fellow brothers and sisters that a person caught in such activity would become a barganing chip in negotiations in small time damage like tires being slashed or in big time damage like a Fibre cut.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on June 11, 2004 - 01:40 Permalink

Hello Disgruntal.

Very sorry to hear of your disenchantment with us. Managers doing what they are told is to be expected but not necessarly respected. They are covered by the Canadian Labor code to do what the government expects them to do. That Labor Law states that no manager needs to take up the tools of a striking unionized employee. The sad part throughout this gutting of low echelon management & us tradespeople is the 10 to five at the very top have created this environment. I happen to like my managers ,both 1st and second levels. The 1st level admitted to me before Christmas that he made a terrible mistake taking the white hat.

As for your last point. I couldn’t agree more but we require the support of the managers to solidify your point but they are to busy trying to screw us while serving those management leaders are have 6500 employees ripping at each other’s throats. BTW a lot of managers and thier wives have made statements that are quite chilling. They are making plans on how to spend the $60 an hour paychecks they work 10 & 12 hours a day for. To clear one of those troubles that i used to clear in a half hour to an hour by myself two forman might show up with a second truck inhabitted by two security guys making $27.50 eah and sent down by AFI security from Hamilton Ontario in a supper charged Dodge Hemi. Thos guys usually are at the job two to four hours. I would have made between 12 and 23 dollars to clear a trouble that now costs the company upwards of $525 not including the cost of the AFI contract. No wonder us unionists are getting upset. You also should notice that a guy like me who likes to work is in danger of losing my job as is my forman when Aliant lines up all its Duckies and moves heavily into out sourcing computerized jobs as while as contracting out my job. This crap is definetly coming from the top. I only wish the low eschelon managers would direct thier anger and frustration at Jay Forbes and Ma Bell. Together on common ground the total group in unison could prevent the gutting we now see.

Angel's picture
Angel on June 27, 2004 - 03:35 Permalink

I agree totally with the statement “ALIANT SET OUT TO BREAK UP A UNION, INSTEAD THEY CREATED ONE.” It warms the heart to see how united and determined the union is to fight against CORPORATE GREED.

The UNIONIZED MANAGERS have no business doing the strikers work and the managers should stick together as a group and refuse to do it. Then the strike would be over really fast with a decent settlement.

The Managers are being used, and they should feel used, and disgraced that they are preventing the strikers from getting a decent contract in a reasonable amount of time.

The only real friends and supporters the unionized Managers could possibly have in their time of need is the workers. Why are they working for a tyrant by doing others work when they have the right to refuse to do that work. Could it be greed??

The few managers that have refused to do the strikers work, deserve a metal. A large Gold Metal. Why can’t the Managers see the big picture… they are being used to hurt their fellow workers, while the tyrants sit upstairs laughing…..

Tyrants laughing, as they watch the Unionized Managers spit on the strikers and their families. The tyrants see all this action as just another video game and would probably be placing bets if they weren’t already so rich, maybe they are betting. Must be nice to have so much power, too bad they can’t act responsible with all that power.

Any Company raking in as much money as Aliant can afford to treat their workers with a little respect and dignity and offer them decent working conditions and a decent contract. There was a time when working at Island Tel was something to be proud of. Those days are gone.

This strike is going to cost Aliant much more then they realize, with unhappy workers putting in time with no respect for Managers or the Company when they get back to work. Whose goning to show up at the Christmas Party next year or the year after. I don’t think so.

I also agree that it is entirely possible for the company to cut their own lines, inorder to make the union look bad. Aliant has proven themselves to be dirty fighters, so nothing would supprise me. Aliant doesn’t care about the people “Here for you” is a joke. All Aliant cares about is money.

Aliant doesn’t care who gets hurt. They don’t care if the managers are falling from poles or cutting their fingers off. How many managers have to get hurt before this strike will be over. I really don’t know how the tyrants can sleep at night, obviously they have no conscious….


amazed's picture
amazed on July 2, 2004 - 11:04 Permalink

I agree with Tired of Mentallity, Hammer and Disgruntled Ex-Supporter. All I am hearing is ‘You (meaning the company) give me job security’, ‘You (again the company) give me a pension’ When are you going to take responsibility for your own life. NO ONE has job security today. ESPECIALLY Jay Forbes. The company has an Education Assistance Program that is equal if not better than any in the country. How many of you have used to learn and acquire skills and knowledge that will give you Job Security by arming you with marketable skills not unique to the Telco industry. And the Pension. The Aliant Stock Savings Plan is second to none and guarantees a minimum of 25% return on your investment. Even if you sell the stocks as soon as they are purchased and put the money in your mattress, you’ve made 25%. I’m sick of hearing ‘The company did this to us’, ‘Jay Forbes earns hundreds of thousands’, ‘The managers are taking our money’. Give me a break. The company did nothing to you. But on the other hand, How much did you do for yourself? Yes, Jay Forbes earns humdreds of thousand but I wouldn’t want his responsibilities for twice his salary. You should be grateful to him — it’s business knowledge and expertise that have kept this company in a growth position over the last couple of years. I have more respect for him and his approach to business than I have had for any of the MTT / Aliant CEO’s in many years. As to ‘The managers taking our money’  — We aren’t taking anything. You voted for strike. I can only hope you weighed the pros and cons of the outcome of the strike one of which is drastically reduced finances. YOU made that choice. The managers didn’t vote for the strike. And finally, as to the downsizing when the strike is over, yes it will happen. There is a formula that says # of days on strike + # of lost customers = # of managers AND union employees to be let go. However, I have never looked to the company for job security. I made my own. I took advantage of the Education Assistance Program to the tune of $30,000.00, and the Stock Savings Plan, so if and when I am escorted out the door, I will say thank you. I have already scouted out potential employers because the $30,000 was spent on skills and knowledge marketable anyhere in the business sector, not just the Telco. It’s time you did for yourselves instead of expecting the company to do everything for you. All the company owes you is a fair days pay for fair days work.

Chloe's picture
Chloe on July 2, 2004 - 19:22 Permalink

I think alot of people think we are out striking for more money — we’re not! We want to keep jobs here on PEI. Not only for ourselves but for the future!

Just for the record, if you’re concerned about money…Jay Forbes, president and CEO of Aliant makes 1.9 million per year or over $15 per MINUTE! Not hundreds of thousands!

The main reason most of us voted to strike is because we want to keep good paying jobs on PEI…We don’t want Jay to turn the company into McAliant!

Dew's picture
Dew on July 4, 2004 - 04:47 Permalink

We did not vote for strike !!!!!!!

We voted to have this company give us a reasonable offer, and give us the respect we deserve.

You did not here J.F. complaining when 97% of our customers had TELEPHONE service during the last two crisis to hit the Maritimes. (p.s. he was not out in the snow,wind & rain during this time) nor was he seen anywhere near the crisis centre’s until it was time to congragtulate us on our performance during these times.

Now we are walking the street’s of all the Maritime Provinces, so J.F. can save face with his bud’s in T.O.
and say “where’s my golden parachute ? “

hammer's picture
hammer on July 7, 2004 - 04:24 Permalink

To Amazed: The EAP applies only to courses that are directly related to your current job function at Aliant.. I have been turned down on certain courses because this strict criteria was not met.. So it pisses me off, that people like you can abuse the plan to the tune of 30,000.oo while you train yourself for a different job with another Company at the expense of Aliant ? I hope you get caught and have to pay it all back !

Inside Op's picture
Inside Op on July 7, 2004 - 13:12 Permalink

Why do Aliant employees believe they’re entitled to job security?

As for wages, they seem ridiculously fair. A person taking my money for my phone bill at the counter makes around $20/hr.

If you’re lucky and get a younger employee, they’re at least pleasant… but if you get a 50+ person, chances are you’ll be wondering what kind of company hired this person because it wasn’t their PR skills.

Sad thing is that some of these people don’t have even a high school eduction and if it wasn’t for being with Aliant wouldn’t get a job that paid $8/hr. These people don’t want to learn more… why should they? They can’t be replaced with someone that is keen and full of live and wants to learn.

Besides some Government positions, where would someone with no eduction and no willingness to learn earn half of what Aliant pays them?

I know there are a lot of talented people in Aliant who earn their money… but there are just as many, whom don’t even realize how good they have it, that could be replaced by a junior high stundent.

And as for J.F. being out in the snow and ice working… thats not his job. His job is to run the business side of things. I would hope that if you were one of the people doing installs/troubles, that you’d know it wasn’t going to be a beautiful sunny day every day of the year. JF’s education includes Harvard and Duke… 2 pretty well known schools…

Anyhow, enough ranting.

xwave Employee's picture
xwave Employee on July 9, 2004 - 15:49 Permalink

I’m an employee at xwave which is a part of xwave. Our salaries are consistenly 25% lower then Aliants, we have no pension, why should you… we have no job security, why should you. We all want to retire but we plan for it. We don’t rely on our company to worry about what we are going to do when we hit 60. Take some of the money you make with your larger salaries and invest it… I am so why can’t you. You want job security, lose the union so Aliant doesn’t pay so much and then they may drop their prices get more customers and keep everyone employed. I can’t see myself respecting people on the line since everything they had in the first place is much nicer then what we have here at xwave…

Go Aliant Go

PEI STRIKER # 275's picture
PEI STRIKER # 275 on July 11, 2004 - 03:26 Permalink

To XWAVE EMPLOYEE: To bad you joined the wrong company. Have you ever thought of starting a Union at XWAVE? Perhaps then you could negotiate for the same pensions, job security, etc. Did you ever think for one minute that maybe a Union would be good for you? We are not asking for more wages, as a matter of fact I think I get paid fairly for my job, I don’t want anymore and I’m close to retirement.

TO INSIDE OP: I’m one of those close to 50 employees. I do not treat the customer poorly. I am respectful to them, and have always taken the approach that the customer is always right. I consider myself pleasant, and have been told by upper management that I have very excellen personal relationship skills. Please don’t judge all workers by a poor experience you have had by one. You will find at least one bad apple in any business you deal with and did you speak to a Supervisor about this person? If not, than how do you think the problem with this person be resolved.

Ken's picture
Ken on July 15, 2004 - 14:01 Permalink

I was laid off from MT&T because the union, top heavy with seniority had to make a choice between no layoffs or a 3 percent wage increase. They chose the 3 percent wage increase and I was one of the most junior craftsman and part of the 3 percent of the workforce that was made redundant and laid off in 1995.

I don’t mind getting laid, and I don’t mind getting off, but I was scared to get laidoff.

Turns out I made double the money contracting for Nortel.

So Aliant workers, fear not, you may be able to survive on your own. Unless you have no real skills, and are clinging to the union because you know you are deadwood.

Unions like the ACTWU protected some and stifle others.
Wouldn’t you be prouder to stand on your own?

INDIVIDUALIST on July 16, 2004 - 00:05 Permalink

Right on Ken,
I left comments at the site and they banned me immediately.

Working for yourself is the way to go. I asked the same of the strikers, why can’t they
(1) show initiative and get to working on their own?
(2) increase their salary by working for themselves?
(3) or at least get to scratching for a job which has the characteristics they want, such as more pay or benefits;
(4) get a license and pick up another career to make themselves even more valuable.
(5) study/learn and rise into Aliant management.

They don’t want to hear it…..

They had rather sit on the old assola, holding a picket sign and let the UNION do their thinking for them.

Little do they remember that the union wins no matter the outcome. Even if they take minimum wage and no benefits, old uncle think-for-me union still gets their mafia cut.

The union members who are now working in higher paying jobs, these are the winners.

Sarah Matheson's picture
Sarah Matheson on August 9, 2004 - 00:08 Permalink

And what would you say to the workers who need their jobs? What would you say to those of them who are supporting families and need to feed them?

Should these workers be expected to get new careers, go to school or NOT sit and picket? I don’t think so.

For those of you out there who may be a little uneducated: These workers are fighting for their jobs. They are fighting for the right to KEEP their CURRENT pay, not make more money. They are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, who won’t tollerate the corporate’s lack of respect for their rights as employees.

Next time you decide to rag on the workers for this, look at your self. What have you done to make this go away? Are you helping or hurting?

Lisa Howard's picture
Lisa Howard on August 9, 2004 - 10:25 Permalink

What are the issues in this strike?

There’s something in Political Philosophy called the ‘free rider’ phenomenon. The free rider is an individualist who is able to maximize the degree to which s/he is able to get
what s/he wants by opting out of collective arrangements. Unfortunately, his benefits are underwritten by the collective arrangement itself. So Ken (no offense to you I’m sure you mean well) and free-lance entrepreneurs like him have salaries and benefits that are as high as they are because the wage rates are determined by fights like the one between Aliant’s union and management. I have to say that I tend to favour unions for this reason.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 9, 2004 - 18:43 Permalink

Hello ladies.

Seems our individualist knows nothing of the Telco workers past ,present or future. Thank you ladies for bringing into focus the real reason our economy in the maritimes is floundering. People turning thier backs on why the middle class is subject to the power of a few at the top who suck all the proffits off for themselves while stream lining customer services by taking away the skilled work force that generates the returns to begin with. DUUUUHHHH mr individualist,the reason we Telco workers are classed as skilled is because we already have the academics to be classed as skilled and are on strike to hold onto jobs in Atlantic Canada.

Here is an example of what I find to be a malignant Cancer in the business plan of Aliant for Atlantic Region customers small potato shareholders and employees. People like individualist slide down the scale everytime another Atlantic based job such as an Aliant employees is lost and yet they think that is great stuff. My island was filled with intelligent well educated academics Individualist and there is a mass exodus of those youths because big Maritme business treat them like SHIT.

I wrote this letter to editors of every major newspaper in the Maritmes and not one printed it. Several journalist acknowledged it as an excellent observation but stated it not would not be printed. Strange concept isn’t it.

From a Union man who misses his Children. I have two wonderful children who couldn’t take it anymore. They are both highly educated academics. My nest is now empty and in my oldest daughters case it has been empty since she was 17. She attended Dalhousie University and attained Dean’s list status, held three jobs down including a Militia job and received a degree in Social Anthropology and International Development studies. She finished Dal without owing one copper to anybody. Son is into High tech computer sciences and electronics. They both saw the Maritimes as a contract for 1 year or two year job, with no future and certainly no benefits or pensions. They were also embittered that those contracts allow for their firing at any time in the contract but they had to serve the contract out, before they went elsewhere. My son is hoping the Military will spring board him over to the RCMP with full benefits, pensions and high tech training. However neither are where they want to be. HOME IN THE MARITIMES.

My son-in-law is New Brunswick boy in the Army, future daughter in law Cape Breton raised. They also had to leave Atlantic Canada though they wanted to stay. They are all in Central Canada and living in the Canadian Army Quarters now. Aliant type futures are all that is being offered today by all Atlantic businesses. Our government and businesses, want an end to the gains of the 1918 to 1960 time frame through unionized type agenda. Clue one, government & the courts are every bit as responsible for our youths leaving the Maritimes as Aliant is. I want Xwave & Innovatia (non Unionized Aliant High tech subsidiaries) to be an innovative Atlantic Canadian leading age computer development and maintenance firm. Jay Forbes (Aliant CEO) would sell us all down the drain for the purse that Bell is offering. Meanwhile the scabs and forced workers of Aliant are cutting their own throats. The unionized, low echelon management, Xwave and Innovatia parts of Aliant equal 9000 employees. Aliant has every intention of moving those services away from the Atlantic consumer where ever they can as cheaply as possible. That is the scenario which Atlantic Regional Call Center employees now face as their jobs are outsourced to India. Seeing that makes us unionized employee sick for ourselves, our Atlantic shareholders and our valued customers.

The injunctions and fearful silence of our political leaders, Journalists and Aliant support from court systems prove that the future for the brains or the brawn of our Maritime worker is very, very bleak. Many people stop at our picket lines everyday asking what the issues are. They are surprised to hear Aliants lie about Wages being our issue, is not a factor at all. Pensions and Maritime jobs are. The bully Boy Corporation of Aliant/Bell has received full support from Scabs (whether fearful or not). Most Journalists don’t follow through on stories to the union positions. Atlantic Safety boards are kneecapped to keep untrained scabs at work for Aliant. Courts keep the ball in Aliant court although many intimidation practices are being bullied by Aliant on all its employees. Silent CRTC bureaucrats who will not defend customers service as they should. Certainly suspicious of Politicians who claim to want maritime jobs but haven’t anymore concern then Jay Forbes who will take the money and run. 4300 gals and guys are in tough right now and every Atlantic Canadian can kiss his family loves good bye if we don’t help each other to stop the Bell Canada suck up of Atlantic region services ,jobs and Atlantic Shareholder profits to Bells gain in cutting all those values from us.

The management scabs are too scared, greedy or blind to see the difference, but I certainly know how hollow my life has become without having my loved ones any closer then Kingston Ontario. Other parents might not feel that loss as I do but Aliant type planning is guaranteeing that my loss will be everyone’s loss in the future. Ontario doesn’t deserve my son and daughter but they had no choice if they wished a future the Atlantic Region couldn’t give them, because our leaders are asleep at the switch.

Please let me know how a student loaned graduate is going to meet the challenges of no future economics Aliant is offering today. The economics of new business plans passes out $8 to $12 an hour part time work. A Septic system bed now costs upwards of $25,000 let alone paying a student loan and putting in a foundation worth $25,000 and the youngster has put a plug of wood on his new digs yet. We need a revolt and anti scab legislation to give a future back to Atlantic Canadians. I sincerely hope people become more concerned at what amounts to be the financial ruin and youth exodus of our Atlantic homeland.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 9, 2004 - 18:48 Permalink

BTW Mr individualist,Why do you suppose Drs Lawyers and Collage Proffesors are forming collective Union Voices these days??? Not enough job training skills and Education maybe? You do realize that all have either struck for fairer deals or been in a position where they HAD TO.

Sarah's picture
Sarah on August 11, 2004 - 19:28 Permalink

Every day I walk by the Aliant Strikers and I think to myself just how dedicated these people are to their cause. A cause that all of us now know about and have strong opinions on. They are there, rain or shine. It doesn’t matter because they believe and they are doing what they feel is right. They are losing their homes, their daycare spots, and some are not able to go on their honeymoon trip(without naming names, you know who you are).
To those of you who think they are doing this because they want more money or they are just plain disgruntled employees: Wake up! It’s life, a way of living and they need to survive. They deserve to have job security, it’s what we all want.

Maybe Aliant shouldn’t offer it’s employees wages that they aren’t willing to pay. Maybe they shouldn’t offer benefits to them, when they just want to take those away too. I think that’s the point. Don’t say one thing and then turn around and do another. If you are offering trust, then be trustworthy.

Proud to be Union's picture
Proud to be Union on August 11, 2004 - 20:46 Permalink

Hello Sarah.

From yesterdays Chronical Hearald. The press are starting to get a grip on what is really happening and why greed is not the Unions motivator but it is surely Aliant/Bell motivated.


Tuesday, August 10, 2004 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

So much for Aliant’s community commitment


AT FIRST glance, I find it hard to make sense of the Aliant strike. A very profitable company, that claims it is “deeply committed to the communities in which its employees live and work,” forces its 4,300 workers to walk the picket lines for more than three months.

For the past two and a half years, Aliant workers have been operating under expired agreements. They are still looking for their first contract since the merger of the four Atlantic telephone companies in 1999. The unions are seeking an agreement that brings together the four previous contracts, while Aliant wants a contract that would result in concessions to some of the expired collective agreements.

Most of the provisions that the workers are asking for are already in place in one or more of the expired provincial contracts. For example, the provisions limiting contracting out already exist in the collective agreement that the Newfoundland and Labrador workers had.

Aliant appears intent on undermining its workforce and jeopardizing its reputation in the region, but to what end?

It is difficult for Aliant to plead poverty. Aliant proudly proclaims itself to be Atlantic Canada’s largest publicly traded company and “Canada’s third largest full-service telecommunications business.” According to the Report on Business’s most recent ranking by profit of the top 1,000 Canadian corporations, Aliant moved up from 57th place in 2002 to 44th in 2003. In 2003, Aliant had profits of $306 million, a 72 per cent increase over 2002.

Aliant makes much of its connections to Atlantic Canada, but its ownership structure suggests a different story. Fifty-three pe rcent of Aliant is owned by Central Canada-based BCE Inc. and Bell Canada (Bell Canada is 100 per cent owned by BCE Inc). And what about profitability of the parent companies? Bell had the fourth highest profits in Canada at $2.3 billion for 2002, and BCE Inc. was eighth with a profit of $1.8 billion.

According to its promotional material, Aliant is “deeply committed to giving back to our region.” But it appears unwilling to share the profits made in the region in the most tangible and direct way — providing stable, well-paying jobs that, in turn, support the local economy.

Bell Canada is a key player in these negotiations and is concerned about more than Aliant’s bottom line. Bell is currently in contract negotiations with its employees in Ontario and Quebec. The get-tough approach with Aliant employees sends a message to Bell’s employees as they ponder their options.

Aliant and Bell Canada do face some future challenges. Cable companies are beginning to provide some competition with their cable-based telephone connections. There is also some possibility in the future of Internet-based telephone service.

But change in the telecommunications industry is regulated, and Bell and Aliant are better off than most in their ability to deal with and benefit from technological change. Part of the role of the telecommunication industry watchdog, the CRTC, is to ensure stability, Canadian ownership and broad access to telephone service. The CRTC would not allow the sudden collapse of major, very profitable, Canadian telecommunications providers.

Let’s also not forget that Bell Canada has already started to diversify. It owns CTV, the Globe and Mail and satellite TV provider Bell Expressvu. Aliant is also active in wireless communication, provision of Internet services and other areas of information technology. In other words, Aliant and Bell will manage just fine. They have access to the funds to innovate and to fend off competition.

I’m still left with the question as to why a very profitable company is unnecessarily demanding concessions from its workers. Part of the reason appears to be a desire to soften up the unions as Aliant develops a new corporate strategy. Rather than develop a stable, well-trained and well-paid workforce whose skills will be flexible enough to adjust and cope with technological changes, Aliant is pushing for the ability to allow for more contracting out.

Vincent Mosco, Canada Research Chair for Communication and Society at Queens University, sees another troubling motivation behind the labour dispute. According to Mosco, telephone companies are “aggressively trying to break their unions” as they compete with cable companies which are, for the most part, not unionized and do not pay their employees as well. The telephone companies are attempting to limit unions to the slow-growth areas of communication, and contract out the work in the newer technologies to non-union subsidiaries. Aliant’s non-union subsidiary X-Wave is an example.

Mosco also sees the labour unrest as a sign of the growing number and power of “communication workers,” demanding better terms and conditions and more respect.

This strike could go on for some time yet. It appears that communication workers in other parts of Canada are watching this strike closely and have recently contributed $3 million to support the strikers. Unions in Atlantic Canada are also raising funds to support the Aliant workers.

Aliant’s actions draw into question its commitment to Atlantic Canada. A contract settlement that leaves workers more vulnerable through weak pension provisions and more contracting out will have a detrimental effect on the communities that Aliant claims to be so “deeply committed to.” The company’s failure to negotiate a fair agreement in a timely manner is already damaging to our communities.

John Jacobs is director of the Nova Scotia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (, an independent public policy research institute.

newf's picture
newf on January 20, 2005 - 20:50 Permalink

just to let everyone know hat aliant is planning to lay off all temp employees in the near future

August's picture
August on April 28, 2005 - 00:52 Permalink

Does anybody know if Bell Expressvu employees in Ontario are unionized? I called their centre however the “customer service” rep REFUSED to answer my question and hungup on me!

serfboy's picture
serfboy on October 2, 2005 - 16:56 Permalink

Hey to all the Alaint brothers and sisters — now it’s our turn with AFI out here in TELUS.

Steve's picture
Steve on May 8, 2008 - 18:44 Permalink

You fuckers chased me around in my truck the whole stike. Fuck you.

Breaking News's picture
Breaking News on November 8, 2015 - 21:42 Permalink

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