This week, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers issued notice to bargain to Canada Post for both of our major bargaining units. After years of raucous labour-relations, attacks from government and violations of our constitutional right to free collective bargaining, there are many issues that must be resolved. The Urban Operations unit and the Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers unit will again meet the employer as one committee. Rural-Urban solidarity is key to achieving our demands.
We are proud to serve our communities and connect the country. However, postal workers are working long hours and difficult schedules as a result of a decade of upheaval. Successive cut-back plans from management and governments have profoundly disrupted postal workers’ lives. Work/Life balance is emerging as a major theme in this round of negotiations. Many of our demands deal directly with workload, staffing and work structure. In this round of bargaining we will restore work/life balance for postal workers.
Restore door to door: Justin Trudeau promised on the campaign trail to restore door-to-door delivery to those who lost it under the Harper government. It’s time to deliver.
Postal Banking: The people of this country are left to the mercy of a handful of private banks, whose only goal is to maximize profits. There is no public option for financial services.
The big banks have abandoned rural communities and exploited everyone else with some of the highest bank fees in the world. There is a better way. Canada Post could offer financial services through a public postal bank, just as many post offices around the world do.
Leverage the door-to-door network to establish new services at the door. A check-in service for seniors could help people live independently for longer. Programs like this are already operating in countries like Japan and France. Canada Post could deliver these services to the public.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. We need to move beyond talking-points and onto real action.
The government must live up to its climate commitments. Greening public infrastructure requires government action. Canada Post could play a leading role in a just transition.
Electric Vehicles: Canada Post has the largest vehicle fleet in the country. The delivery fleet should begin transitioning to electric vehicles. Charging stations could be installed at post offices, electrifying the country’s highways.
Targeted Services to Reduce Emissions: Grocery delivery is a green service. One truck delivering groceries to many houses is better than many vehicles driving to one grocery store. Introducing services that reduce carbon emissions is essential to tackling climate change.
Postal workers are fighting to finally achieve equality for Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers. In 2016, we negotiated a landmark pay-equity process, which will help move RSMCs towards equality. The decades-long struggle for equality for RSMCs will be finally settled at the bargaining table. We demand one collective agreement, with equality for all.
Fix the pay scale! Following Harper’s back-to-work legislation, postal workers were forced to swallow massive concessions, including dramatic cuts to pay for new hires. We will not accept a situation where we are forced to work side-by-side with people doing the same work, and receiving much less pay. Equality remains a major theme of negotiations.
This round of bargaining will impact our lives for years to come. Stay up to date with the latest news from negotiations by signing up to e-digest (www.cupw.ca/edigest). Discuss the progress of negotiations with your co-workers. Be prepared to stand together and organize work floor actions to support our demands. Our only strength is each other. We’re all in this together.