At the heart of our struggle with the Harper-era managers of Canada Post is a clash of ideas about what our post office needs to be. There’s a lot at stake in this round of negotiations and the outcome will affect not only postal workers, but our families, friends and communities.
Deepak Chopra and his cronies are trying to dismantle our post office as a public service. Their only focus is parcels and admail. They refuse to entertain the possibility of expanding into other services: in fact, their only response to our proposals for additional services is to pull Appendix T from our collective agreement – the very mechanism that would allow us to try out new ideas!
They are intent on extracting hundreds of millions of dollars from us in labour cost savings and they don’t care about the harm this will inflict on postal workers and the communities they serve. They had hoped to save a billion dollars a year by cutting home mail delivery against the will of the public, but now that the government has halted their cutback plan, Chopra will try to take his cuts out on the wages, benefits and pensions of postal workers.
We know we provide good service to the public and we want to provide more of it. We know that Canada Post is a federal infrastructure that touches every community in this country. We know that banking and financial services are sorely lacking in this country, and we are being gouged by some of the highest bank fees in the world. Other post offices around the world have expanded into banking services. Canada Post can and must consider other services rather than cutting what we already have.
So don’t be afraid to say it: we as postal workers are bargaining not only for good jobs in communities across this country, but for public services that meet the needs of those communities.