Canada Post created a workplace crisis which has been brewing for some time. Workers are overloaded and disrespected, and despite being treated as objects and machines, we have continued to provide a high-quality service for everyone across the country. But we all have limits. Our work ethic can no longer be a license to take advantage of us. Things must change. Things must improve. The time is now.
Overburdening has become for many, an ongoing nightmare, taxing our bodies and minds. It has affected the time we have to see our families and caused conflicts at home and with each other. Exhaustion, sleeplessness, and stress should not be by-products for performing a good service. There is another way, a better way.
With tenacity, cooperation, and our collective will, we will make it right. When we stick together, strategize, and stay true to the course, we create a different workplace. We recently experienced this throughout the pay equity process for RSMCs which resulted in a great victory. We must continue to band together as we fight for better working conditions, fair wages, and respect on our work floors for all workers, urban and rural. The Corporation will want to divide us, pit us against each other, tell us they can’t meet all our needs. We will not let them.
We know our value and together we will fight for our collective rights to be respected.
Despite our working conditions, we do have so much going for us. Not only are we respected and trusted by the people we serve, but we also provide a service that continues to evolve and expand. We all know the mail has changed, but that doesn’t mean postal workers have become irrelevant. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
With the growth of online shopping, Canadians count on us to deliver goods to their home along with bills and other mail.
Canada Post recently announced a first quarter record profit. In spite of dire predictions, we matter. We do good things. We should be proud that we saved the post office from privatization and destruction. This work is not done. The Government review of Canada Post calls for an expansion of services, to find new ways to serve our communities, to find new revenue and grow to be a long-term and diverse service.
Imagine a growing, viable and sustainable service that meets the changing needs of people.
Imagine a country where the post office is the hub of the community. With this expansion the Corporation and the Government would be forced to see the value of our work and form a new relationship with us based on respect and collaboration.
When people come together and demand respect, they win. When they see the Union as a service industry and take no active role in changing anything but blame someone else, it weakens our objectives.
There are two roads here: the first reflects the status quo where we all take no responsibility either individually or collectively for changing our lives, complain about others, and experience no improvement at work (and maybe it gets worse). The other is a path where we recognize our diverse strength, connect with the different roles we can play, and create a better situation for ourselves.
Whether you are a shop floor advocate or a tired and jaded worker asking a neighbour or family member to make a call to a politician or circulate a petition, every step will help create change.
A few years ago, we were facing the end of mail delivery and the theft of our pensions. Neither happened. We are still here because of your dedication to your work and the tireless effort to create a post office for everyone.
It is our time. Let us shine.