Telecom giant Telus has offered 2,000 employees part of the USW Local 1944 union voluntary severance and early retirement packages, a move the union says is a “deep disappointment.”
“We believe it implausible that Telus suddenly no longer needs the labour of up to 2,000 members,” the union states in an online post. “It’s clear that this greedy decision by Telus executives prioritizes their own compensation and disregards customer needs.”
The union further states the move will impact communities in Canada during a time competing companies are committing to investing in Canadian workers. While the post doesn’t pinpoint one specific company, Rogers did recently announce it will move outsourced jobs under the Shaw brand back to Canada.
“Telus is an industry leader in putting customers first, and customers increasingly want digital, convenient, and easy-to-use self-serve options. We’ve made significant investments in customer service technology and self-serve capabilities to provide our customers with more service options,” a spokesperson told MobileSyrup in a statement.
“As a result, we recently offered a voluntary program to some team members, canvassing a large group to be fair and equitable, recognizing our team members’ unique retirement and career plans. We are not reducing our workforce by 2,000 people.”
The company says it anticipates “several hundred” people will choose the offer.
While the union says it’s each member’s right to decide if they want to accept the package, they encourage them to examine the “costs and benefits of doing so.”
News of the packages comes roughly a month after the union started a new contract for Telus workers to avoid strike action.
Update 18/05/2023 11:51am ET: The article has been updated with a statement from Telus.
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