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Telus asks 150 Ontario employees to relocate to Montreal

Telus has informed about 150 call centre workers in Ontario that they will have to relocate by October, apply for another role or accept layoffs.

Published at 11:05 a.m.

The union representing the workers, United Steelworkers Local 1944, said it was informed Tuesday that the affected employees would be given the opportunity to work in Montreal, calling Telus’ move “backdoor layoffs” aimed at reducing the company’s workforce.

The move is part of a restructuring announced internally Wednesday that will require about 1,000 call centre workers across the country who have been working remotely since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to return to the office three days a week.

Telus says customer service agents will not have a local office to return to because it is closing its Barrie location, which housed its Ontario call centre, “following a thorough review of [ses] real estate “.

Spokeswoman Brandi Merker said those who accept relocation would receive financial support, and that the proposed voluntary departure program exceeded the requirements of the Canada Labour Code.

The Vancouver-based company announced last August that it was cutting 6,000 jobs to adapt to a “rapidly changing industry,” saying issues such as regulation and competition had led to the need to reduce its payroll.



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