Only one year ago, we had just finished our national convention and I wrote that I would follow through with “my commitment to build a united union, to fight the attacks on all our members and to mobilize the membership” for the future. How could we have ever predicted that our members would play such a crucial and historically unprecedented role in our communities? During this pandemic, we are doing what we do best.
Every year on April 28, we take time to remember and honour the many workers who have passed away, were injured, or made ill because of the work they do. It is completely unacceptable that 1,000 workers in this country lose their lives in the workplace every year.
These are challenging and stressful times for CUPW members. The loss of normalcy; the loss of connection; the invisible, unknown health risks, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring are all testing us. The whole world is feeling worried – including me.
I want to send a message to my entire CUPW family, all of our active members and our retirees. First of all, I want you to know that during this time of crisis, our CUPW leadership is absolutely focused on protecting our membership in every way we can. We are facing the most significant health crisis in memory and I know that our families and members — and all working people— are worried, unsure of what tomorrow will bring and facing hardships and extremely difficult challenges and decisions.
Like most sensible people, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) sees a 1.8% profit margin on revenues at Canada Post as great news: modestly better than break-even, with some extra cash to reinvest in the service – isn’t that exactly how we want a crown corporation to perform? Of course, it’s on brand for the Motley Fool to throw out conventional wisdom and make an unorthodox proposal to butcher and privatize the Canada Post Group of companies. The thing is, it’s far-fetched and based on little understanding of how the postal system works, therefore no constructive ideas about improving it.
Negotiations have barely started and already, the public attacks on postal workers’ pensions have begun. This week, the National Post ran an op-ed attacking postal workers’ pensions. Terrence Corcoran goes beyond all sane limits, not only painting a biased picture of the pension plan, but in fact blaming postal workers for “concocting” Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s glaring conflict of interest.
Justin Trudeau certainly did not run on a military-strength platform. Nowhere on the campaign trail did Liberals talk about increasing military spending or using “hard power” abroad. The recent speech of Chrystia Freeland, alongside the announced 70% increase in military spending should ring alarm bells.
It's been a wild ride for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers over the past couple of years. After we mobilized with the public to beat back the Harper Conservatives' planned demolition of door-to-door delivery, our union then faced a tough round of negotiations with the Conservative-appointed managers of Canada Post. At the same time, the newly-elected Liberals began a review of the post office that complicated matters enormously by holding public consultations on the future of the post office at the same time we faced a highly publicized lockout designed to keep everybody's minds on a manufactured crisis and a fabricated 'need' for cuts.
The year is 2036 and you’re reading this because right now, you’re thinking about what it means to call yourself a postal worker. You’re wondering if it’s really worth it to put your body and your future on the line. That’s what your union is asking you to do.
Support Postal Banking - Download and Sign the Petition
Canada needs a postal bank. Thousands of rural towns and villages in our country do not have a bank, but many of them have a post office that could provide financial services. As well, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. A postal bank could be that alternative. Download and sign the petition urging the Government of Canada to instruct Canada Post to add postal banking, with a mandate for financial inclusion.