USW and Philippine Labour Association to Assess Telus in Philippines

The USW and BIEN, an industry-wide labour association in the Philippines, are co-operating to assess the scope of operations of Telus International in the Philippines, including the working conditions in Telus workplaces, the community impact of Telus in its various locations and other issues, the USW announced today. 

“Telus regards itself as a good employer in the global south, including the Philippines,” said Leo Gerard, USW International President. “We’ll be assessing that claim. Our goal as a union is to raise standards everywhere – in Canada, in the Philippines and wherever any of our employers operate.”

The co-operative work between USW and BIEN takes place after the recently settled CWA strike against Verizon, during which the CWA and its allies uncovered a much larger Verizon footprint in the Philippines than had previously been known.

Telus recently sold 35% of Telus International to Baring Private Equity Asia, an investment firm. That sale generated $600 million for Telus (the sale proceeds plus some new debt secured against the assets of Telus International). Telus International’s revenues jumped a massive 39% in 2015 while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) surged by 34%.

The USW is an affiliate of UNI Global Union, an international labour federation that, among other sectors, represents workers in the global telecom sector. Over 11,000 Telus employees across Canada are members of the USW. The USW and Telus are currently engaged in collective bargaining to renew the contract covering those employees in communities across B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

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