As you have likely heard, our Sisters & Brothers who work at Canada Post were facing a possible lockout, as they try to negotiate with their employer to protect their jobs and important benefits and principles, such as pay equity. They are now in a cooling off period where service is in place while negotiations continue. The 30 day period began on July 8, 2016. Click here for updates on negotiations.
The union representing these workers, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has been trying to negotiate with Canada Post since December 2015. One of our key issues is equality for a female-dominated bargaining group, the rural and suburban mail carriers. Seventy per cent of this group are women and they’re making 28 per cent less than the male-dominated urban group.
CUPW is also trying to get Canada Post management to address the changing demands on our postal system and to talk about services Canadians need, such as postal banking. But Canada Post is refusing to consider these progressive options.
In addition, management is still seeking massive concessions from CUPW members and they are still rejecting most of their proposals. Their aim seems to be to provoke a bitter labour dispute, souring the Liberal government’s postal review. They are gunning for thousands of average jobs in communities across Canada: tax-paying jobs with decent benefits that our sons and daughters could look forward to.
There is no need for the kinds of cuts that Canada Post is demanding. CUPW’s submissions to the ongoing Postal Review Task Force include a detailed breakdown of Canada Post’s finances, which show that the Crown corporation has been profitable for the past 19 out of 21 years. In fact, Canada Post may be the only corporation that consistently hides its success instead of bragging. They hid a study on postal banking which showed that it could be a win-win strategy for Canadians. They have duped the public into falsely believing that Canada Post is in financial trouble while it continues to make profits, year after year.
Five years ago, these workers walked off the job and were legislated back to work by the Conservative government’s back-to-work legislation, which was later found to be unjust by the Supreme Court of Ontario.
We hope that these workers aren’t forced out of the workplace or to take job action again to defend our public postal system. If they are, our hope is that NSGEU members step up and show their support to their fellow union members in whatever way they can.
It’s important to note that our new Federal government is in the midst of reviewing our national postal service, including the future of home delivery, and they want the public’s input. If you’d like to have your say in this process, please visit http://www.cupw.ca/en/campaigns-and-issues/government-review-canada-post to find out how you can be heard.
Thank you in advance for standing united with your fellow worker.