The Phone Book
Working at the Bell
Kuyek, Joan Newman
Publisher: Between the Lines, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1979
Pages: 94pp ISBN: 0-919946-14-3
Library of Congress Number: HD8039.T32C35 Dewey: 658.3
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX2018
An account centered on Kueyks three years working for the phone company.
The Phone Book presents an insider's view of work at one of Canada's largest corporations. The author spent several years as a Bell employee and has interviewed dozens of fellow workers in the course of her research. The resulting study reveals a stifling bureaucracy which has only changed over the years by making jobs more fragmented and employees increasingly restive. As Bell's affiliate, Northern Telecom, has expanded its breakthroughs in the development of telephone technology has had serious effects on work at the Bell. New technology has served to increase management control over Bell employees, and the author points out that this has heightened discontent.
The Phone Book looks at the historical development of work at the Bell, from the days when supervisors used to glide up and down behind rows of operators on rollerskates to the present, when a computer carries on direct monitoring. The author also examines the expansion of Bell into the uncharted waters of the Third World in its global search for markets. These elements are brought together in a discussion of the recent unionization of the Bell after years of paternalism and company unionism.