Seven things you can do to prepare for a labour dispute

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Thursday April 21 2016

Nobody wants to go there. But unfortunately we may have to. 

Canada Post is demanding major concessions from us and they are refusing to consider our proposals.  Deepak Chopra wants major cuts to our pension, benefits and working conditions that we simply cannot accept.  Canada Post has applied for conciliation, which means that they want to force matters to a head.  So if things don’t get better at the bargaining table, we could find ourselves locked out by the employer as early as July. 

Here are seven things you can do to prepare yourself.

Prepare financially. Save money. Secure a line of credit.

There are many things you can do to get ready financially.  Strike pay is only $200 a week and will not last forever.  Consider putting off major purchases and look for ways to reduce your monthly costs.  If you have debts, talk to your financial institution about income-loss insurance, which often covers strikes or lockouts.  Consider securing a line of credit that can be used in a pinch.

Sign up to E-digest to get the latest news by email.

The fastest way to get updates about what is happening at the bargaining table and among members is to sign up for E-digest.  Go to the CUPW website ( and click on the “member resources” section to sign up.

Read the bulletins.

Check your union bulletin boards and the CUPW website for the latest bulletins about negotiations.

Follow us on social media.

CUPW is active on Facebook and Twitter.  Follow us!  There are also dozens of Facebook groups set up by rank and file members for postal workers.  If you’re on Facebook, consider joining one of these groups and sharing posts to connect with members across the country. 

Go to union meetings.

As a possible labour dispute approaches, your local general membership meetings become even more important.  This is the place where you can get information about plans being made in your local.

Talk to your coworkers.

There are many members who have never been in this kind of struggle before.  Others are veterans.  Talk to your coworkers.  If you have been through this before, you can help those who haven’t.  If you are new at Canada Post, talk to a shop steward or other union representative about what to expect. 

Together we can face whatever comes.

Support your negotiators.

Your negotiators are now working around the clock to achieve the best possible collective agreement.  Canada Post is pushing us hard.

You may soon be asked to support our demands at the bargaining table by taking a strike vote. 

The best way to avoid a strike is to show that we are ready to defend our jobs and the services we provide to our communities.


Mike Palecek
National President (2015-2019)