Delegates to the National Convention have sent a very clear message to both the management of Canada Post Corporation and the Harper conservative government.
As your President I am committed to work with your new National Executive Board to build a strong, united and active union that will achieve all of these objectives.
Since 2006 the Harper government has been attacking worker’s rights and civil liberties while doling out huge tax breaks to the rich while cutting public services which benefit workers and the poor. Every day from now until the election CUPW will be working with our allies to defeat this government. We are going to bring the fight directly to the Tories over the next six months. We are going to make sure that every person who loses door-to-door delivery, every citizen that has to pay higher postage rates, everyone that has their local post office closed or downsized, knows that the blame for this lies squarely with Stephen Harper and his Conservative government.
The convention delegates also sent a strong message that the union must intensify our campaign to stop the cuts to door-to-door delivery. In many communities postal workers, together with our community and labour allies are actively canvassing the public to inform them of the need to preserve home delivery. Recently cities such as Hamilton Ontario have stepped up and are taking legal action to stop CPC from erecting community mailboxes. All of the opposition parties have stated they will stop the expansion of CMBs if they are elected. We have public support, municipal support and political support and we now need to escalate our campaign so that the right to home mail delivery becomes a major election issue
The delegates to the convention also sent a strong message that we expect improvements, not concessions in our upcoming round of bargaining with Canada Post Corporation. Our experience with Canada Post has been that once we have accepted concessions they never stop demanding more. Already they are setting the stage for an attack on our pensions and our paid meal period. Postal workers are not prepared to work longer and have less retirement security. In the near future the NEB will be meeting to establish our program of demands which will include much needed improvements in pay, benefits, rights and working condition.
In 2015-2016 we are going to move forward.
National conventions of CUPW are not easy. Convention 2015 was no exception. The hours were long, the debate was hard and there were endless caucuses and meetings. But the delegates to the convention demonstrated that they are deeply committed to building the CUPW into a fighting union which can effectively represent its membership at the workplace and in the community.
On behalf of the National Executive Board I wish to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the union representatives and national officers who will not be returning to their positions following the convention. Being a union representative can be a difficult and stressful job and we owe everyone who has been serving in office a great debt of thanks.