Canadian Postal Workers Union Started Rotating Strikes Monday
Following nearly a year of negotiations with Canada Post, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) began rotating strikes across the country on Monday, Oct. 22.
Workers from the Victoria (British Columbia), Edmonton (Alberta), Windsor (Ontario), and Halifax (Nova Scotia) locals walked off the job for a period of 24 hours, followed by workers in Toronto (Ontario) on Tuesday, Oct. 23 and Sherbrooke (Quebec) and Red Deer (Alberta) Thursday, Oct. 25.
CUPW’s membership of 50,000 overwhelmingly authorized a strike action following a vote in September. Over the last two years, massive increases in parcel volumes contributed to workplace injuries increasing by 43 percent.
In Canada, the disabling injury rate for a letter carrier is eight times the national average for the rest of the federal sector, which includes miners, road transportation workers, and railway workers.
“Our members gave us a clear mandate to take job action if Canada Post refused to address our major issues – health and safety, gender equality and preserving full-time jobs,” said Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “We will stay at the bargaining table and on the picket line for as long as it takes to get a fair deal for our members.”
On Monday, APWU President Mark Dimondstein wrote a letter of support to Mike Palecek, the CUPW Executive Board, and all CUPW members:
“On behalf of the 200,000 members of the American Postal Workers Union, we extend our firm commitment and international union solidarity to you and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) as tens of thousands of postal workers embark on militant rolling strike actions to win a fair and decent collective bargaining agreement.
The struggle for a healthy and safe workplace, proper compensation for all hours of work and maximization of full-time jobs is just. Postal workers in the United States face similar problems with massive numbers of workplace injuries and far too much non-career and part-time work. So, when you make gains it strengthens our hands at the bargaining table and in our workplaces as well!
Attached is correspondence sent to the Canadian Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the CEO of Canada Post Corporation, demanding that they bargain in good faith with the CUPW and address the legitimate concerns of the workers regarding unsafe conditions, the need for fair compensation and other outstanding and important issues.
If there are other actions of union solidarity we can take, please let us know.
We are confident that, just as you did in the door delivery fight, the Canadian postal workers, through your unity, solidarity and militancy, will prevail!”
What can you do?
APWU members are encouraged to print off one of the CUPW’s signs, take a pictures of you – and your co-workers if possible – holding the sign(s). Post the image to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with a message of support and tagging CUPW and #negos2018.