Shame on you BCE, employees deserve better

Shame on you Bell Canada for treating your loyal, long-term employees so poorly! You promote yourself as a company that cares about the Canadian communities you serve and the well being of others. You have raised millions of dollars in your annual Let’s Talk Days, however let’s talk instead about your recent shoddy tactics.

Downsizing due to changing technology is understandable, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about the necessary cut backs. A company of this stature should be above stressing your long term, valuable employees by offering severance packages to any of them whose jobs you are drastically changing. The same should apply to those wishing to leave after many years of service as part of the downsizing process.

Instead, many of these Bell Canada employees are holding their breath, stressed to the hilt, waiting to see what will happen to the jobs they have been at for forty plus years. I have heard these stories, but can only speak to one in particular.

My husband started working for Bell Canada as a teenager in the summer months. After college, they offered him a job here in Ottawa. That was 38 years ago. In the early years he worked outside, climbing poles, running cable, and installing phones in homes, basically anything they asked him to do. For the past thirty years or so he has been working inside fixing computer systems that support Bell’s technology, covering the entire 613 area code. It has been common for him to spend 7 hours a day driving to and from remote Ontario communities to fix the “troubles” as they come up. Year after year he has received rewards and recognition for his excellent work ethic and lack of sick time. You would not need all the fingers on your two hands to count the number of sick days he has taken since 1981. Up until recently he loved his job.

Sounds like a great career doesn’t it? Not to mention an excellent, valuable employee. Both the career and employee should be congratulated, rewarded and celebrated. The problem is, now at almost 61 years of age, this employee has been told he is now expected to be climbing ladders outside, year round. How ridiculous is that? Shame on you BCE!

He was told by his manager that if he doesn’t want to climb ladders he should just get a doctors note saying he cannot do so. Many others in the same predicament are doing this due to their health restrictions. So why doesn’t he do that? Because that goes against the very core values that have made him such a valuable and loyal employee! He is also relatively healthy and fit, something he should not be punished for. Not to mention the fact that he can (still) probably climb ladders better than the younger generation soon to replace the older guys. The point is not that he cannot do it, but that he should not be forced to do so.

Who in their right mind wants to risk injuries that could affect their retirement years? Who at sixty years of age is as agile as a twenty-something or even thirty-something employee? It is ridiculous that any company, let alone a blue chip company like Bell Canada, expects their senior employees to modify their job descriptions in this manner. What about the liability involved? Is there not an age limitation on employees climbing ladders? I guarantee you if he is injured on the job, I will be hiring a lawyer!

With this downsizing initiative, severance packages have been offered to some (selective) surplus employees. Several on the seniority list above him and a few below him are eligible for these packages but not him. Even though his specific department has been downsized from sixteen to three scant employees in the past few years, his position has not been categorized as surplus, so he is ineligible. Sounds fishy to me!

Even after this shoddy, disrespectful and unfair treatment, this man still does not want to slam or discredit a company he has been loyal to for so many years. I have no such qualms as I am the key witness to his anger, frustration and grumpiness creating the unhealthy stress levels he has been forced to endure.

Union representatives have suggested he grieve the fact that he is not eligible for a severance package. Especially as he was told they only need two employees (he is the third) in the department. They also suggest he wait a few years until another package comes out. My concern is the stress involved in the process, not to mention the potential for serious injuries. Selfishly, I want him around to enjoy our golden years together.

Shame on you Bell Canada! Why not let any of these long-term, senior employees bow out gracefully if they wish to do so?

Shame on you
Advertisements

Marketing ploy or innovative method to raise awareness?

Is Bell Let’s Talk Day a clever marketing ploy or a generous and innovative method to raise awareness (and tons of money) of mental health issues?

Call me naïve, but I think the latter.  If it was a marketing ploy they would offer to donate 5 cents for every NEW CUSTOMER that tweeted, posted, shared, etc.  Obviously they could only reward the phone calls and texts from their own customers, but all other methods of communicating the Let’s Talk message was open to all forms of social media, using any account, anywhere.  Rewards were generated from people all over Canada and around the world, regardless of who provides their cell phone or internet services.

Another argument could be made on the fact that BCE ( Bell Canada Enterprises) is not in the health care industry.  Yes, they are a telecommunications mogul here in Canada, but only a company with that status could achieve such success raising money for initiatives they have no monetary stake in.

The fact is mental health is fast becoming a major issue in societies worldwide.  The more people made aware of the issue, the more money is raised.   The more money raised, the more progress will be made.  Social media is definitely a clever way to promote global awareness.  After all, social media is the reason we now live in a very small world.

I don’t mind saying I am getting tired of all the negativity, the “glass half full” attitudes, the nay-sayers.  Yes, mental health should be talked about all year around and not just on one day.  But, which other major fundraising events, telethons etc happen more than once a year?  If other companies or groups think they can do a better job at raising awareness and money, let them put their money where their mouth is. What have we got to lose by participating? Not a thing.  Bell is the one footing the bill.

Results are in.  Last year (2017) results tallied 131.7 million interactions which raised 6.6 million dollars.  This year 138.4 million interactions raised 6.9 million dollars.  Good job folks, and Bell, and yes, keep talking!

 27866996_299140940609625_741242083464953226_n

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca