We have now spent weeks crossing this huge and beautiful country in our Save Canada Post RV, from Cape Spear, Newfoundland, to Port Alberni, B.C. When we began, I vowed to keep up my blog, but a typical day on board the Caravan usually goes something like this:
6 am –We get up, make coffee, beds and tidy up, grab showers and a bite if we can, head off to the postal plants and depots to meet our members for 7:30 am
9 am – 5 pm – We go to a rally or a community event, meet with local stakeholders, juggle interviews with local media, and travel to our next destination, which can sometimes take many hours. On the road, we Tweet, Facebook and draft bulletins, phone members and allies and try to keep things from flying around the RV cabin.
5-midnight – We wrap up a town hall meeting and hook up the RV for another late night supper (before midnight if we are lucky) and a few hours of sleep, before getting ready to do it all over again the next day.
On an intensive schedule like this – we just crossed three provinces in as many days - the time goes by too quickly to cover everything we have done, but I will never forget the faces and voices of the postal workers we meet along the way. We really had to pull this tour together in a hurry and concentrate on certain key campaign areas, so we have not been able to get to all the Locals and connect with as many members as I would have liked. But every member I do meet reminds me why our union and our jobs are worth fighting for.
It’s hard to gauge the level of public support our campaign is getting when we only listen to the corporate media. But on the ground, we see it everywhere we turn. Postal workers are integral parts of their communities and their communities know it. At every stop, even just for five minutes at coffee shops, gas stations and on the side of the road, people flock to the Caravan to tell us they like what we’re doing. They grab lawn signs and buttons. They cheerfully sign our petitions and bring friends and neighbours over to sign too. They tell us how much they value our public postal service – not only for themselves but for others. And everybody we talk to knows exactly who is responsible for these cuts - the corrupt and arrogant Harper Conservatives.
Along the way, we’ve been offered wonderful hospitality and been inspired by members’ activism. Busy Local Presidents, regional representatives, shop stewards and rank-and-file members who are already pushed to the limit, have spent hours organizing around this Caravan to welcome us, arrange community events and mobilize their work floors to come out for the tour. It’s great to witness the results of their hard work as their communities and co-workers rally around them.
At every single stop we have made, a federal NDP candidate has come out to meet us and to reaffirm the NDP’s commitment to restore home delivery. Some Liberal candidates have also come out and sohave Green Party candidates. So far, there has been no sign of the Conservatives but we have showed up at Harper’s constituency office in Calgary and plan to show up at a few more Conservative events.