People’s Voice Editorial
As the dispute at Canada Post continues, its workers need the solidarity of the labour movement and community allies more than ever. Instead of reaching a new collective agreement that meets the needs of its employees and millions of customers, Canada Post seems determined to drag out the process, perhaps in hope of a legislated settlement imposing onerous conditions on CUPW members. On Nov. 2, the mandate of the mediator appointed by the federal Minister of Labour expired, without Canada Post agreeing to resolve key issues around health and safety, workload, staffing, wages, pay equity, and equality for all workers.
While the company refuses to budge, the rotating strikes and overtime ban strategy of the union is having an impact, making the point that Canada Post depends on its workforce, not its government-appointed bosses. As CUPW says, “after more than ten months of negotiations, the intervention of two mediators and two weeks of rotating strikes, Canada Post is showing its true colours. All of its lofty rhetoric and the image it is attempting to project to its employees and the public are turning out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors.”
To give just one example, Canada Post claims that it does not promote precarious work. Yet the company wants the power to hire an unlimited number of temporary, on-call, “disposable” employees and assign them all the work it wants in peak periods (for three months of the year). These on-call employees might have to work more than 40 hours a week with no overtime pay, and would be let go when the peak period is over. (See cupw.ca for details.)
CUPW members are not simply defending their own immediate interests; their struggle is a crucial fight for the entire working class in Canada. As the pressure builds, they need our full support!