By David F. Rooney
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has issued its strike notice to Canada Post and Labour Minister Lisa Raitt. This means that without a negotiated collective agreement workers — including the 14 local employees — will be in a legal position to strike as of 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 2.
“In line with our 94.5% strike vote we once again informed Canada Post management that they must address the demands of the Union that are designed to resolve the problems in the workplace, such as harassment of members who use sick leave and suffer injuries at work, overburdening, insufficient values, forced overtime, inadequate rotation of duties and improper staffing, which lead to injuries and health problems,” CUPW President and Chief Negotiator Denis Lemmelin said in a statment.
“Likewise, the issues associated with the introduction of CPC’s $2 Billion Modern Post program must be addressed. These include ergonomic studies and the “one bundle” delivery method, as proposed by CUPW.
“We reminded management that we remain totally opposed to their proposal for the elimination of sick leave and the imposition of the short-term disability plan. We also told the corporation that the union continues to reject the corporation’s proposal for a 22% reduction in the starting wage rate for future hires and two-tier benefits and pensions for current temporary employees and future hires.”
The Revelstoke Post Office has four full-time employees, three permanent part-time workers, five on-call temporary workers and two Rural Service Mail Carriers. Should a strike occur, government-issued pension cheques will continue to be delivered.
The complete text of the union’s final offer is available at www.cupw.ca.
For its part, Canada Post says the union is out of touch with reality.
“The union is prepared to shut down Canada’s postal system even though the company has proposed a deal that gives employees better pay and benefits than they currently enjoy,” says a statement from Canada Post.” The latest counter offer from the union does nothing to address the significant challenges facing the company.”
Canada Post’s statement said the company is offering:
- Annual wage increases leading to a top rate of $26 per hour for both new and existing employees;
- A defined benefit pension plan for both new and existing employees despite a $3.2-billion solvency deficit;
- Up to seven weeks vacation;
- Job security for both new and existing employees.
With a 17% decline in letter mail since 2006, Canada Post’s challenges “are well understood,” the corporation statement said..
“To address these challenges we have proposed a competitive and comprehensive pay and benefits package for employees hired in the future. The offer put forward for new employees will still make Canada Post an attractive place to work.”
You can find out more about Canada Post’s offer at www.infopost.ca/customer.