Telus cuts subscriber access to pro-union website
The B.C.-based communications company that's in a bitter fight with unionized employees has blocked its internet subscribers from accessing a website supporting striking union members.
Telus subscribers can't get into Voices for Change, which says it's "a community website run by and for Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) members. "
The site calls the company's move censorship, and TWU president Bruce Bell questioned its legality.
But the company said the site suggested striking workers jam Telus phone lines, and posted pictures of employees crossing the union picket lines.
Telus spokesman Drew Mcarthur said advocating jamming lines hurt the company, and access to the pictures threatened the privacy and safety of employees.
Bell said union members who post online exchanges about jamming Telus service lines are acting within their rights.
People who use service providers other than Telus can still access the sites, and Telus subscribers can get in through a proxy site, http://vfc.proxy.pfak.org/, Voices for Change said.
TWU workers went on strike Thursday, after the company said it will impose a contract. Talks began almost five years ago, but have been acrimonious and unsuccessful.
- FROM JULY 12, 2005: Telus to implement most recent offer to union
There have been court cases and fights before the Canada Industrial Relations Board.
On Friday, Telus got an injunction stopping strike supporters from blocking access to the company's facilities.
- FROM JULY 23, 2005: Telus wins injunction against striking workers
The union has sought rulings from the board and expects to file more related to "intimidation, interference and the use of replacement workers," it said Sunday.
But it also complained about the board, saying a July 21 decision found that Telus was bargaining in bad faith again. However "without including any punitive sanctions, the board is allowing Telus to violate the law with impunity," Bell said.