About 4,200 employees at Canadian telco Aliant took to the picket lines on Friday after a failure to reach a compromise over a new collective agreement.
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Aliant workers have been without a contract since 1999 after Nova Scotia's four telecommunications providers merged. The Atlantic Communications and Technical Workers Union (ACTW) and federal conciliators had been working together to reach an agreement since last autumn but the negotiations broke down in March.
In a letter released on 25 April to its members, the ACTW indicated that Aliant had not made enough offers to workers in terms of pensions, job security and healthcare.
Despite this disruption in normal operations on Friday, Aliant pledged it will maintain existing service levels. However, the telco conceded that some delays would be unavoidable including slower response times from its customer care centres.
Aliant said it would tend to its customers' needs on a priority basis, for example, out-of-service issues would be taken care of before tasks such as relocation of services.
So far, only slight disruptions in services have been reported.
Rebecca Reid writes for ITWorldCanada.com