Response to anonymous member(s)

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Friday May 15 2015

Dear anonymous member(s),

Thank you for taking the time to write to me about the issues facing temporary workers at Canada Post. We are certainly aware that Canada Post is treating you as second class workers. You are quite correct to recognize the divide and conquer strategy of the employer. And this is not the only place they have used it; we must struggle for equality for RSMCs too!

The reduction to the pay scale imposed on us in the last contract, while not technically a two‑tiered system, is certainly part of this same strategy. We have to be absolutely clear, that this union will stand united and fight for equal pay for work of equal value. We must resist the attempts of the employer to divide us. We know that this is not just a question of money, but an attempt to pit member against member in order to extract more concessions from our collective agreements and more profit from our labour.

But there is one part of your letter which I do not agree with. You state that “Canada Post has won.” I can assure you, this is false. We may have faced a significant defeat in the last round of bargaining, but this union will rise, like a phoenix from its ashes, to be reborn. We have done it before and we can do it again. We are doing it now.

Hope is not lost, as long as there are members like you who see through management’s tricks. The strength of this union rests on the shoulders of members on the work floor, who refuse to be divided and refuse to live in fear. It is our job, the activists at every level of this union, to raise the confidence of the rest of the work floor. Canada Post does not exist without us. When we stand together we empower ourselves. Together, we can turn the tide. And we will.

In Solidarity,

Mike Palecek
National President

Encl. Letter from the anonymous member(s)

LIFE OF A CASUAL WORKER

CUPW accepted a two tier wage system on the work floor last time. Who allowed this be voted on? Major mistake on the National to even allow this to come to the table.

As a casual employee working in the WMPP and having discussions with other casuals: 
Working beside fellow employees making $7 more an hour who enjoy pension and benefits is not right. Recently, I was told we do not qualify for a calendar raise. We have to wait for that clause to kick in after we reach a permanent status. Time to make permanent status is 3-4 years and then add on 7 years to reach top tier.

I want to work and I enjoy working at Canada Post. Sitting at home, hoping/waiting for the phone to ring from the Eclipse system to get a work offer for a 5 hour shift and sometimes only 38 - 60 minutes to get to work is very stressful. Luckily I worked 500 hours last year. I understand it takes time to get a permanent position. Reality is even harder to swallow: Gross Income for the year is under $10,000, take off the deductions (Income Tax, CPP, EI and Union Dues) and we net out at $7200. Who can live on that? With the acceptance of the two tier wage system, Canada Post saved a minimum $3500 on just one employee. Check out the website and look under Careers at Canada Post. Across Canada, every position posted is term, casual, temporary or on-call status.

Canada Post has won. They split CUPW into two groups; employees who have top wages, benefits and pension and those who do not.  How do you focus now? It will always be an uphill battle trying to get the employees to vote on similar items as they now have different agendas.

WE MUST FIGHT AS ONE.

The future of Canada Post employees will be casual workers working for reduced rates with no benefits and no pensions. If the current issue is not having paid lunches, what does a Casual employee care? We rarely get 8 hour shifts. Same thing last time, new hires get lower wages, what did a full timer care? It didn’t affect them.

By accepting a two tier pay structure, the Government has won and CUPW has lost. This must change today so we can stand as one, not different groups of employees. This must be changed to get everyone back on the same page. Everyone has their own ideas and concerns, but they are not all the same major concerns and this makes it even harder to focus a group.

WE MUST LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL US TO HELP US REACH OUR GOALS.

I hope CUPW has a backbone and stands up to the Government and fights to get the two tier pay structure removed this time and changed back to one job classification, same pay.  We should have demands, not them. We supply a service to Canadians and the Government makes money at it.