Canada: Victory for the Telecommunications Workers! Re-nationalize telecommunications!

Fightback calls for the nationalization of telecommunications under democratic workers’ control, as the only solution to the problems of poor management at Telus. Fightback calls for the nationalization of telecommunications under democratic workers’ control, as the only solution to the problems of poor management at Telus.

The Telus workers have lived through privatization, downsizing, outsourcing, deteriorating standards of employment and service, and five years without a contract. Despite Telus’ promise of a friendly future, very few Albertans or British Columbians would deny missing the good ol’ days before telecommunications were privatized, when AGT, EDTel and BCTel were government owned.

Unlike AGT, EDTel and BCTel which existed to provide telecommunications to western Canada, Telus exists for the personal enrichment of a few CEOs – period. This is what privatization and capitalist globalization are all about, and more and more, people are recognizing it.

What good has privatization done for the telecommunications workers? For Telus customers?

We are reminded of the hardships faced by our CAW sisters and brothers as a result of the privatization of Air Canada. Across the board, privatization has resulted in lower standards of employment and service. Capitalist competition has become a worldwide race to the bottom. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep profits rising when consumers everywhere are feeling the crunch of steadily decreasing wages, a rising cost of living, and soaring personal debt. The capitalist ruling class must cut costs by attacking the very people who they target as consumers to increase sales – the working class. Any business with a conscience is being out-competed, dropping off the big business radar, and a smaller and smaller number of people are making bigger and bigger profit while the gap between the richest and poorest grows, not just in the world’s poorest countries, but worldwide. It is time to think outside the capitalist box.

Without the hindrance of the profit motive, a nationalized telecommunications company would be able to put quality first. It would be completely illogical to make decisions that hurt the workers or the customers.

Telus has declared all out war on their workers, in an attempt to break the union and make way for soaring profits at all cost. Their efforts are part of an attack on all workers, and they cannot be allowed to succeed in lowering the bar another notch.

This is a battle of life or death for the union and for decent telecommunications in Canada. The telecommunications workers CAN BE VICTORIOUS and they CAN be an example of raising the bar rather than lowering it.

We must turn our sights to the re-nationalization of Telus and of the telecommunications industry.

Nationalize Telus!

If you agree that re-nationalization of telecommunications is the only solution for the Telus workers, or if would like to discuss this further, please contact us at fightback[@]marxist.ca.

July, 2005