Don't let Aliant off the hook!

Shunpiking Online has received the following two press releases from the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and Atlantic Communication and Technical Workers Union. We will also be publishing the article, "Why is Aliant demanding, and receiving, impunity?", early next week.

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(10 June 2004) -- The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and Atlantic Communication and Technical Workers Union have asked the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission to force Aliant to pay rebates to subscribers who complain of poor service during a strike by 4,300 telephone workers across the Atlantic.

CEP and AC&TWU represent the strikers who took to the picket line April 23 to back demands for job security and pension protection.

"We have discovered that while Aliant is telling the media everything is running fine despite the strike, it is, at the same time, seeking CRTC approval to forego its obligation to pay rebates to customers suffering poor service," said CEP administrative vice- president Ervan Cronk.

"If service is so good, the question begs asking: Why are they seeking an exemption from their Terms of Service contract under which they have to rebate customers for poor service?" Mr. Cronk added.

"The CRTC has told us it has received a record number of complaints from subscribers since April 23. We encourage Aliant customers to continue to seek rebates on their phone bills and to continue to complain about their poor service to the CRTC," said Dean MacDonald, chief negotiator for the AC&TWU.

Mr. Cronk said the Union has anecdotal evidence that high speed internet service, for instance, is running at only 25 per cent capacity in some key parts of the system and that installation delays are well beyond acceptable limits.

"Atlantic Canadians do not have to keep paying 100 per cent for 25 per cent service," he added. "Tell Aliant you want your money back."

Aliant service deteriorating

MONCTON, NB (27 May 2004) -- Telephone service in the Atlantic has deteriorated to the point where intervention by federal regulators is required, says Ervan Cronk, administrative vice-president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

"The wait time for new phone installations has gone beyond unacceptable proportions," Mr. Cronk said in a statement this morning. "It has reached the point where Aliant is no longer meeting its terms of service requirements issued by the Canadian Radio/Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)."

Installation of new phones is being adversely effected by the federal election campaign, Mr. Cronk said, since Aliant is ignoring ordinary people in order to serve the demands of politicians running in the campaign.

Other services have been deteriorating consistently and persistently, he added.

"Our information is that the connect rate to high speed internet service is now down to 25% to 30 per cent in some key areas of the system," Mr. Cronk said.

Mr. Cronk, who is the union's chief negotiator at Aliant, said the five-week-old strike by some 4,300 workers is proving that the company simply cannot offer first class service without "people who know what they are doing."

"Aliant customers are paying full price for one quarter of the service right now," Mr. Cronk said, suggesting customers who are not satisfied demand a rebate on their phone bill.

He reported that membership morale is strong and growing more resolved to reach a fair contract settlement with each passing day, noting that the "degree of public support we are receiving is phenomenal."

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