Ottawa – This morning, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) condemned the Trudeau government’s back-to-work legislation. Once again, CUPW and the CLC are calling for free and fair negotiations between CUPW and Canada Post for its two biggest bargaining units.
Trudeau’s move puts his government at odds with the labour movement as a whole and runs counter to their narrative of support for unions. This is the first time this government has introduced back-to-work legislation, and the message it sends to employers is troubling.
So far Canada Post has not moved on any of our key issues. Justice Firestone stated in his decision that after the Conservative Government introduced the back-to-work legislation in 2011, that Canada Post hardened their position in bargaining. The effect of this legislation was to “substantially interfere” and “to disrupt the balance of a meaningful process of collective bargaining”.
Welcomes mediator back, but feeling undermined by government tactics - For immediate release - Ottawa – Today, Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) members going to work are finding that the mail backlog has been highly exaggerated. The CUPW Toronto local reports that rather than the “hundreds of trailers” that Canada Post reported, they have about seventy – a backlog that can probably be cleared in a few days. Postal workers have seen one truck in London, six trailers in Hamilton, two in Halifax, 15 in Moncton, zero in Saint John and St. John’s. “So where did all that mail go overnight?” asks Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “We’re convinced that Canada Post manufactured a crisis just to get the government to intervene. If so, that’s a huge concern, and it will further poison our work environment and labour relations for years and years to come.”
In an effort to achieve negotiated collective agreements and end the strike activities, the Minister of Labour, Ms Patty Hajdu has given mediator Mr. Morton Mitchnick another mandate.
This government has said they agree that a negotiated settlement is the best resolution in the long run, they believe in free collective bargaining and agreed to renew the mandate of the mediator Morton Mitchnick for a short period of time. CUPW believes that the threat of back-to-work legislation will undermine the chances of negotiated settlements. We’ll do our best to reach a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible with the assistance of the mediator. We will see shortly if this was a real attempt to achieve negotiated settlements.
For the past 30 days, 50,000 postal workers have been taking turns on the picket lines in the hopes of obtaining:
decent jobs; help with their workload; pay for all hours worked; and an improved short-term disability program.
Are we being unreasonable in asking our employer to resolve our major issues: health and safety, gender equality, decent middle class jobs? The answer is NO!
Union Rejects Binding Arbitration - For Immediate Release - Ottawa – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is calling on Canada Post to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a settlement now. “We will not accept binding arbitration to resolve our issues with Canada Post. We have the right to collective bargaining and to settle this through negotiations,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “We are confident that an agreement can be reached, if only Canada Post would address the issues and stop looking for ways not to negotiate.”
As of 6:00 p.m. today, we have not received any communications from the Canada Post Negotiating Committee with respect to the offers we presented yesterday evening. Nor have we received any reply from the Minister of Labour to our request that she appoint a mediator to assist the parties. We will keep you informed as developments occur.
On Saturday, November 17, 2018 we responded to Canada Post’s November 14th global offer by presenting them with a global offer that addresses our needs and our demands. A Negotiated Collective Agreement is Possible - We believe that our proposal can be the basis of a collective agreement. To that end we have requested that the Minister of Labour appoint a mediator to assist the parties to negotiate a collective agreement.
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Canada needs a postal bank. Thousands of rural towns and villages in our country do not have a bank, but many of them have a post office that could provide financial services. As well, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. A postal bank could be that alternative. Download and sign the petition urging the Government of Canada to instruct Canada Post to add postal banking, with a mandate for financial inclusion.