Negotiations Must Address Health and Safety at Canada Post

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Monday November 5 2018
2015-2019/440
No. 54

For years Canada Post management submitted false injury reports to Labour Canada and claimed that injuries were being dramatically reduced. Eventually management was caught and the truth about injuries at Canada Post was revealed.

 

Disabling Injuries Per 1 Million Hours 

 

Postal

Long Shore

All Federal

All Federal Excl. Postal

CPC Compared to the rest of the Federal Sector

2016

41.9

19.5

9.1

7.7

x 5.44

2015

43.7

19.1

9.4

7.8

x 5.60

2014

42.7

20.8

9.2

7.8

x 5.47

2013

25.1*

25.3

8.7

8.1

x 3.10*

2012

27.9*

29.0

9.3

8.6

x 3.25*

2011

33.0*

28.4

9.4

8.4

x 3.93*

*False Report

Source Labour Canada

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/health-safety/reports/statistical-2016.html

 

As seen in the above table, taken from Labour Canada reports, the rate of workplace injuries at Canada Post is 5.4 times that of the rest of the federal sector that includes longshoring, transportation, mining and other hazardous industries. The next highest industry sector (longshoring) has a rate of injuries that is less than half of Canada Post.

 

Postal Transformation and Forced Overtime Contributes
to Injuries and Stress

In 2016 a study examined the relationship between the introduction of postal transformation and the increase in injuries and stress being experienced by postal workers. The report found:

  • a majority of RSMCs  as well as Internal Group 1 and Group 2 employees reported that levels of stress, irritability, anxiety, fatigue and aches and pain had increased.
  • the majority of letter carriers reported an increase in both the number and severity of workplace injuries. 
  • The majority of letter carriers reported that postal transformation had led to worsening relationships with family and friends. 

The report also noted the negative impact of increased compulsory overtime. It concluded:  “…the more frequently that overtime was forced, the greater the increase in reported negative impacts related to physical and mental health and increases in anger and fear of physical violence at work as well as perceptions of reduced safety at work.”

 

Postal Workers Know the Solutions

The 2016 study asked postal workers what should be done to make work life better.

Group 1: Most Frequent Comments of Employees

  • Improve schedules
  • More day and afternoon shifts
  • Better hours for part-timers

Group 2:

  • Allow sorting of sequenced mail
  • Eliminate the double bundle system
  • Stop forced overtime
  • Improve work measurement

 

Canada Post Still Refuses To Provide Adequate Staffing

In many locals, Canada Post has created a staffing system that relies on forced overtime instead of creating permanent full and part time jobs. This is a major problem in the processing plants and delivery because it creates many health and safety concerns related to fatigue, over-burdening and stress. On October 31, 2018, as part of our strike actions, the Union imposed an overtime ban. We all deserve the right to go home at the end of our shifts without being forced to work longer. It is time for Canada Post to stop using forced overtime as a staffing tool.

 

Time to stop talking and start acting

We hear lots of talk from management about the need to reduce injuries. It is time for action at the bargaining table.

Support your negotiators and stay informed on twitter (@cupw) and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cupwsttp/. For regular email updates with all the latest, join eDigest: https://www.cupw.ca/cupw-eDigest

 

Solidarity!

Nancy Beauchamp
Chief Negotiator, RSMC bargaining unit
Sylvain Lapointe
Chief Negotiator, Urban Unit