You Can’t Mask Disrespect

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Friday May 1 2020

Everywhere workers are in a precarious landscape of pandemic, overwork, and uncertainty. It is clear that our members have stepped up to keep this society running. You deserve respect and a debt of gratitude from everyone. Fortunately, we have experienced some of that gratitude and trust from our communities. Unfortunately, we do not see the same for Canada Post operational management. They are capable of driving humans like pack mules, and who are overburdened to the hilt. We deserve better.

Some members would prefer to wear a mask. Many have family members who are vulnerable. This is not a joke. They should be able to wear them without ridicule.

At the beginning of the virus, the jury was out on masks as researchers struggled to understand the virus, and its spread. We have learned much since then in this unfolding situation.

In the meantime, after an online campaign, Dollarama workers received masks.

Walmart provided masks. Of course, those workers deserve them. We are all working people in unprecedented times. Grocery store workers who want them, have them provided. You see repair people and construction workers wearing them. Pharmacy workers have them. In fact, many employers, all over the country are providing masks to those who want them. But not Canada Post operations. That is telling. We keep things going by delivering the products of an obscenely wealthy multi-billionaire, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, but don’t deserve a mask in a global pandemic.

Further, all over the land, retailers have installed thick barriers where people encounter the public. Not Canada Post. Our workers receive flimsy sheets of plastic more suitable for packing lunches. Even then, locals had to take matters into their own hands to start the process. They appeared after workers agitated for them. Many locals took measures to push the employer.

In addition, as we serve a society in a crisis, we still do not have a contract. This is untenable. Respect is a two way street. Our commitment does not come without conditions. Increasingly postal workers feel like expendable items, as disposable throwaways, ignored and trampled over by operational management demands for Bezos. Do managers still receive their bonuses after they squeeze water out of stone?

We require more than plastic sheeting, but rather, a contract and some decent protective equipment including masks.

Workers require some workplace respect, the same kind of respect we receive from a great many Canadians. They recognize our sacrifice, even when CPC operational managers seem not to.

We have choices. Coming out of this crisis, we can return to the way things were, or work together and with others to ensure our society and workplaces change to reflect positive human values and that workers are not competing in a continual race to the bottom. This comes with a mobilizing culture of action and readiness. That part is up to all of us. Little changes without it.

Thank you for what you do. You are the one stable factor in all this. We deliver but apparently, CPC remains unwilling to deliver for its workers.

The struggle continues for respect and dignity.


In Solidarity,

Dave Bleakney
2nd National Vice-President
You Can’t Mask Disrespect (pdf)507.52 KB