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Windsor Call Centre Employees Reject Deal

Employees at a Windsor call centre have rejected a contract offer from their company.

Freedom Mobile call centre employees said no to a contract agreement during a secret-ballot vote Thursday. 120 ballots were cast, with 69 votes to reject Freedom’s offer and 51 votes to accept the offer. The outcome was made public Friday.

The 185 call centre workers are members of the Telecommunications Workers Union, United Steelworkers National Local 1944. The employees joined the union in January and had been working on their first collective-bargaining agreement since March.

USW National Director Ken Neumann suggests that this rejection should help both sides resume contract talks.

“These employees make a huge contribution to Freedom Mobile‘s success and this vote should kick-start renewed talks toward a fair collective agreement,” says Neumann in a statement. “It is completely reasonable for these employees to expect that their hard work and years of service should count for more.”

The union’s bargaining committee says the contract did not include basic seniority rights, but proposed a two-tier system for newer employees as far as vacation rights were concerned. The committee unanimously recommended a “no” vote.

The committee has expressed a desire to return to the bargaining table. The employees have not threatened strike action.

Freedom Mobile is owned by Shaw Communications. Their local customer service call centre is located downtown at 525 Windsor Ave.