“We are asking management to give us a chance, to give the public review a chance, to keep sitting down with us at the bargaining table, and give the workers a chance to get a fair deal." — Mike Palecek, CUPW national president
Ottawa (30 June 2016) — On June 27, members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) voted overwhelmingly to support the call for strike activities if necessary as the union fights to defend its bargaining priorities, improve service to the public and to stop Canada Post's rollbacks.
Canada Post takes hard line with major concessions in bargaining
CUPW reports that in Canada Post's first offer, presented to CUPW on June 25, the employer rejected the proposal to establish an hourly rate of pay and provide equity with urban workers. For urban workers, there are significant rollbacks, no real improvements and sub-inflation wage increases.
“We are asking management to give us a chance, to give the public review a chance, to keep sitting down with us at the bargaining table, and give the workers a chance to get a fair deal,” said Mike Palecek, CUPW national president.
The collective agreement between Canada Post and CUPW members expires on July 2. CUPW asked Canada Post for a 2-week cooling-off period in order to continue bargaining but Canada Post's CEO Deepak Chopra rejected the request.
Canada Post is in its 20th profitable year but refuses to negotiate fair deal
In a press release, CUPW said the profitable Crown Corporation, which netted almost $100 million last year and is in its 20th year of profits, is trying to cut back workers’ pensions and remove job security protections, among other cuts. It is refusing to listen to union proposals for the expansion of services and pay equity for rural and suburban mail carriers, 70% of which are women.
“Mr. Chopra and his executive team are getting their bonuses every year,” said Palecek, referring to the Harper-appointed President and CEO who has refused to resign since the Liberals took office. “We don’t understand why he needs to squeeze so much out of the people who are making the profits for him.”
“We’re concerned that a labour dispute will taint the outcome of the very important review that the Liberals are conducting,” said Palecek. “We’ll do everything we can to avert that.”
Labour dispute could damage Canada Post review
Canada Post’s haste to push matters to a head in the bargaining process while insisting on hefty cuts has had CUPW crying foul from the beginning.
“Canada Post managers started this countdown to a labour dispute by filing for conciliation shockingly early on in the negotiations process,” said Palecek.
“They don’t really want to give us a chance to settle a deal. They want us out and they want the public to blame the postal workers for management’s decisions.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE