Whether we are cleaners, postal and delivery workers, medical dispatchers or in other important roles, CUPW members have been on the front lines performing vital services to the public during the COVID-19 crisis. The National Executive Board has authorized the purchase of non-medical masks for each of our members. CUPW Locals will be receiving shipments of the masks over the coming weeks; however, distribution will take some time given the large volume of the order.
Over 50 years ago, American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” This quote explains and underscores what we are seeing in the media in response to the police killing of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is saddened and outraged by the recent violent attacks against Black individuals regionally, nationally and internationally. We are also deeply concerned that last week Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a Black-Indigenous woman, fell more than 20 floors to her death while members of the Toronto police force were present.
Are you grappling with how we are going to have to change our society, workplaces, and systems going forward post-pandemic? The Global Labour University is offering a free course, online, on your own time, to think about ways to implement pro-human, pro-planetary change. No previous formal education is required, however you will need a working knowledge of English.
In the coming weeks, members will receive the long-awaited new issue of Perspective, and should immediately notice that it looks a little different. For one, we’ve retired our old tabloid and relaunched as a magazine. More importantly, your Perspective is now much more than the Trustee’s report. It is now filled with articles and information about CUPW’s major campaigns, issues, committees, and so much more.
When COVID-19 abates, there will be a great struggle over what policies and ideas take centre-stage. The public is certainly grateful to frontline workers right now – whether they are cleaners, couriers, medical dispatchers, postal workers, health care workers, or others on the frontlines. We must leverage this support to demand policies from governments that will actually help our society and working people.
**Montreal, St-Jerome and Ste-Therese Locals** Quebec summer day camps will open as of June 22 across the province, Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced on Thursday May 21, 2020. Camp groups will be smaller in size, and have smaller counsellor-to-child ratios, with physical distancing directives in place. We know this information is coming late, but want you to be able to register your school age child for this summer program.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and to all the members of the committee for giving us the opportunity to present the point of view of our members in these extraordinary and worrisome times. I first want to acknowledge that I am speaking to you from unceded Anishinabe territory.
Only one year ago, we had just finished our national convention and I wrote that I would follow through with “my commitment to build a united union, to fight the attacks on all our members and to mobilize the membership” for the future. How could we have ever predicted that our members would play such a crucial and historically unprecedented role in our communities? During this pandemic, we are doing what we do best.
On May 17th, we join over 130 other countries worldwide in celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. We must remember and acknowledge the continued systemic injustice faced by the LGBTQ community. The theme for this year is Breaking the Silence. It was chosen as a reminder that for most of their lives, LGTBQ people have been made to feel ashamed, stigmatized and have had to hide their sexualities, gender identities or sex characteristics.
ARTICLE 35.08 – RATE OF PAY ON PROMOTION, DEMOTION AND TRANSFER - The Union is continuing to remotely meet and review this file with the employer during this COVID-19 pandemic. On May 14, 2020 (Pay Period 10), Canada Post will be making a payment to approximately 40 other members who were incorrectly paid due to CPC using the incorrect pay rate calculation.
Red Flags in Calgary - Last Friday in Calgary, the public health authority declared an outbreak at the mail processing plant. Six cases since April 20 have been confirmed so far. Canada Post Corporation and Alberta Public Health say they don't believe that the virus was spread in the workplace, and they maintain it is not necessary for asymptomatic members to be tested before returning to work. But as you know, this is not just a question of whether members are safe and healthy, it's a question of how we ensure it.
OTTAWA – On Monday, May 11th, Foodora Couriers will work their last day as the company will officially exit the Canadian market. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is fighting to ensure Foodora takes responsibility for its workers and demands that the Canadian federal government immediately intervene to protect vulnerable gig-workers, ensure couriers, including undocumented workers, are paid severance, and have adequate income supports.
On April 17, 2020 the Ford Government announced an expansion of eligible workers able to access free emergency child care in Ontario. It was the right thing to do, even if overdue. Added to the list of workers were, “federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency” and Canada Post employees.” Subsequently we learned that there was not, in fact, a directive issued by the Ford Government to Municipal Child Care Service Managers to restrict access to two-parent families, unless both parents are on the list of “designated” workers.
On April 17, 2020 the Ford Government announced an expansion of eligible workers able to access free emergency child care in Ontario. Added to the list of workers were, “federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency and Canada Post employees.” We thought this was a win for postal workers in Ontario. What the Ford Government didn’t announce was a behind the scenes directive to municipal child care service managers to restrict access to two-parent families, unless both parents are on the list of “designated” workers. A little like giving with one hand and taking with the other.
TORONTO - Today at 3 PM, Foodora Couriers and CUPW staged a safe, physically distanced protest at Foodora Canada’s headquarters. This protest comes as a response to Foodora abruptly announcing earlier this week that it would be exiting the Canadian market. The Canadian company is claiming financial trouble, yet Foodora’s parent company, Delivery Hero, boasted this week about a near doubling of their year over year revenue in their first quarter.
This May Day we continue the struggle for justice. No matter where we come from, what we look like, or what we do, we all deserve to have our health and safety ensured at work. We must continue to demand governments and employers move towards social and ecological sustainability, where all are considered and cared for fairly– a way of living collectively where resources are shared in an equitable, peaceful and sustainable way.
Everywhere workers are in a precarious landscape of pandemic, overwork, and uncertainty. It is clear that our members have stepped up to keep this society running. You deserve respect and a debt of gratitude from everyone. Fortunately, we have experienced some of that gratitude and trust from our communities. Unfortunately, we do not see the same for Canada Post operational management. They are capable of driving humans like pack mules, and who are overburdened to the hilt. We deserve better.
Canada Post has notified the Union that they are changing the work methods for RSMCs. In regard to Personal Contact Items (PCIs), CPC has decided that there will no longer be a 0.5 KM rule. CUPW had agreed to this as a temporary measure during the COVID-19 crisis as long as this is voluntary. It is their position that they do not need agreement from the Union.
Everywhere postal workers are delivering under poor conditions. It’s been over 100 years since we delivered during a pandemic. Yet, workers continue to defend themselves and support health care workers. There is a lot more happening in locals than are included here.
Foodora Canada’s move to leave the market is a cruel act by a multinational corporation in the middle of a pandemic. Food delivery couriers, like postal workers, have been continuing to provide a vital service in the pandemic, yet Foodora has provided zero safety protocols, PPE, or supports.
Every May, CUPW celebrates Asian and South Asian Heritage Month. During this time, we acknowledge and celebrate Asian workers in Canada. The country we know and love, would not be as it is today without the incredible efforts and contributions of Asian Canadians. As such, the Canadian government officially recognized May as Asian Heritage Month back in 2002. Many groups, however, have been celebrating since the 1990s.
OTTAWA – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers alleges that Foodora Canada and its parent company Delivery Hero are breaking several sections of Ontario labour law, by closing down in order to defeat a union organizing drive. The unfair labour practices complaint has been filed today with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). Anti-union actions, as CUPW alleges the closure to be, are illegal.