Why our postal struggle shows the need for a cross-country solidarity coalition

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Friday September 16 2016

Photo of Solidarity Against Austerity group holding placards of support for postal workers

CUPW has always been at the forefront of the labour movement.  Because we push the envelope, we get pushed back at too.  Under the austerity agenda, postal workers are often the first to come under fire.  Let’s take that as a compliment – a recognition of the strength of our fighting union!

Now we are taking a stand for pay equity, while resisting the boss’s demands for major cuts to what we already have. We are taking a stand for a public postal service that meets the needs of the people of this country.  And we are taking a stand for good jobs in our communities.  This fight is only just getting started.  But postal workers aren’t standing alone.

Two women standing with placards reading Pay equity because it's 2016 and Restore Door-to-Door Delivery

Support has been pouring in from the labour movement, from community organizations, environmental organizations, feminist organizations, socialist groups, activist organizations and the public in general. We cannot overstate how thankful we are for this support.  And all of these groups are now working together to push back against the attack on our public postal service.  We recognize that all of our struggles are connected.  Postal workers have always been and will always be there for our allies.

This raises a question: why must we reinvent the wheel with every struggle?

Group photo of people in front of St. Boniface post office with "Restore Door-to-Door" signs

It is becoming increasingly clear that what is needed is a solidarity coalition, which could help break down the barriers between organizations.  We often tend to work in silos, with each organization focusing on the issues they are passionate about and calling for support only when it’s needed.  Imagine how much stronger progressive movements could be in this country if we had an organization that could be continuously working to bridge the gaps and bring us together!

We live in tumultuous times.  The threats posed by climate change, institutional oppressions, xenophobia and unfettered capitalism are not challenges that can be tackled individually.  The need for systemic transformation has never been more apparent.  The only thing that is missing is a broad-based organization that can unite these struggles into one and mobilize the people of this country to make the changes that we all know are necessary.  So what are we waiting for?