Bell Layoffs: Hundreds Employees Laid Off In 10-minute Video Calls; Unions Describe It As ‘Disgusting’ | Companies News


New Delhi: Canadian telecommunications giant Bell has laid off 400 workers,as announced in brief virtual group meetings. The union representing the affected employees, Unifor, has strongly criticized the move, labeling it as “beyond shameful” and “disgusting”.

The terminated employees were notified of their dismissal through brief 10-minute video calls, where managers declared them as “surplus” without providing an opportunity for questions or discussion. “Our members, who have devoted years of service to this telecoms and media giant, are being repaid with pink slips,” director of Unifor Quebec stated. (Also Read: Dell’s Workforce Reduction: 6,000 Employees Fired As Cost-Cutting Measure)

Nevertheless, Bell disputed the claim and asserted that the company had been open and transparent with union leaders for more than five weeks regarding the layoff procedure and had fulfilled its obligations. (Also Read: Mumbai Overtakes Beijing As Asia’s Billionaire Capital; Ranks In World’s Top Three)

Further, the company also added “Terminated employees also had individual HR meetings to discuss severance packages.” “The truth is Bell picked a number of heads to roll so it could increase its dividend payout without an actual plan on which jobs and which workers would be eliminated so the terminations are cruelly dragged out”, The Workers’ union Unifor stated.

Adding, Unifor said “Our dedicated, loyal workers, who are predominately women, will have to explain to their families tonight that they are being let go from Bell for no good reason other than making sure that their shareholders and Board of Directors come first when getting paid. It’s absolutely disgusting,” 

Earlier, In February Bell revealed intentions to cut 4,800 jobs which is equivalent to approximately 9 percent of its workforce. CEO Mirko Bibic justified the cuts as essential to “simplify our organization and accelerate our transformation” during an earnings call. However, the layoff decision drew criticism as the company simultaneously increased its dividend payout to shareholders.

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