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Martin N.

Ah, Canada Post. Where else can you mail a letter for only a penny per day?

The structure of the gig economy seems to include rural 'contractors' etc and is basically designed to outflank existing labour law to provide an adequate supply of indentured labour for private and crown corps.

With the threat of increasing immigration and TFWs as a goad, individuals are forced to accept jobs that offer no security or self-worth.

The culprit is the federal government. It has the authority to outlaw medieval labour practices, predatory consumer upselling and broacast law etc but prefers to allow predatory behavior than to protect its population

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Radio Silence

As of 6:00 p.m. today, we have not received any communications from the Canada Post Negotiating Committee with respect to the offers we presented yesterday evening.

Nor have we received any reply from the Minister of Labour to our request that she appoint a mediator to assist the parties.

We will keep you informed as developments occur.

Unionist

The MSM are busy creating public opinion in favour of strike-breaking legislation (and of course a non-freely-negotiated outcome), because the universe as we know it will obviously implode if Xmas gifts are late.

I think we may know as early as tomorrow whether the government is planning to act. Of course, the last time Harper attacked free collective bargaining of the postal workers, the courts held it to be unconstitutional - albeit 5?years later. Sadly, I don't believe Mr. Trudeau gives a damn. But I'll be watching this with interest.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canada Post Rejects our Offers and Wants a Cooling-Off Period!

On Monday, November 19, Canada Post responded to our November 17th global offers. CPC’s response simply said, “After having taken the time to assess them, we must advise that they cannot unfortunately form the basis of any potential settlements.”??

We Want Negotiated Collective Agreements

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is calling on Canada Post to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a settlement now.

We want to remind you that the Union has always fought for its fundamental right to bargain collectively the working conditions of its members, an essential element of the right of association protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights. It has been recognized that this fundamental right includes the right to strike.?

We believe that our proposals can form the basis of collective agreements. To that end we have requested that the Minister of Labour appoint a mediator to assist the parties in negotiating a collective agreements.?

Cooling-Off Period?

This morning, Canada Post proposed a “cooling-off” period effective immediately and lasting through January 31.

We aren’t doing this to harm the public, but the proposal asks our members to go back to work at the heaviest and most stressful time of year, under the same conditions that produce the highest injury rate in the federal sector. It asks women to continue to do work for free. How can we do that?

CUPW negotiators have proposed concrete solutions to the major issues – the injury crisis, gender inequality, overburdening and precarious work – which Canada Post has rejected.

Strike Activities

Our strike activities will continue until we achieve the collective agreements that we deserve. Our right to strike is a fundamental right that we will not give up. Canada Post can resolve this dispute and end the strike activities by coming to the table with real solutions to address our concerns.

WWWTT

Unionist wrote:

The MSM are busy creating public opinion in favour of strike-breaking legislation (and of course a non-freely-negotiated outcome), because the universe as we know it will obviously implode if Xmas gifts are late.

I think we may know as early as tomorrow whether the government is planning to act. Of course, the last time Harper attacked free collective bargaining of the postal workers, the courts held it to be unconstitutional - albeit 5?years later. Sadly, I don't believe Mr. Trudeau gives a damn. But I'll be watching this with interest.

From what I last heard, Justin was urging both parties to quickly find a deal.?

I don’t know how, or even imagine Justin can do anything more. But if does try to do something for CUPW, there’ll be lots of photo opps.?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i suspect it's to early in the process for anything to be done. more pressure is needed for canada post to move. like being closer to xmas or an all out strike.

WWWTT

Too early?

CUPW has been without contract for almost a year and a month on rotating strikes. That’s too early?

Ok if you say so.?

Sounds like to me that CP is stalling for time so the government (Justin and the liberals) legislate our brothers and sisters to go back to work!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..legislation is always a government option that posties face. it doesn't solve anything as the struggle moves off the street and continues on inside. the gov and cpc know this.?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Mediator Returns Along with the Threat of Legislation

In an effort to achieve negotiated collective agreements and end the strike activities, the Minister of Labour, Ms Patty Hajdu has given mediator Mr. Morton Mitchnick another mandate.

This government has said they agree that a negotiated settlement is the best resolution in the long run, they believe in free collective bargaining and agreed to renew the mandate of the mediator Morton Mitchnick for a short period of time. CUPW believes that the threat of back-to-work legislation will undermine the chances of negotiated settlements. We’ll do our best to reach a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible with the assistance of the mediator. We will see shortly if this was a real attempt to achieve negotiated settlements.

Union’s Position

We have been consistent in our approach and our communications that this round of bargaining is about correcting key issues that impact all postal workers. These issues are health and safety, staffing, over-burdening, job security, a reduction in precarious employment, pay for all hours worked and a better work-life balance.

Your Solidarity Is Key

Your amazing solidarity, determination and perseverance is the reason that we are in a situation where negotiated collective agreements are still within our reach. The strategy of using rotating strikes and an overtime ban has been very effective and Canada Post is feeling the pressure. We never wanted to strike but Canada Post refused to negotiate.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPW Questions Claims of “Massive” Backlog

Welcomes mediator back, but feeling undermined by government tactics

Today, Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) members going to work are finding that the mail backlog has been highly exaggerated. The CUPW Toronto local reports that rather than the “hundreds of trailers” that Canada Post reported, they have about seventy – a backlog that can probably be cleared in a few days. Postal workers have seen one truck in London, six trailers in Hamilton, two in Halifax, 15 in Moncton, zero in Saint John and St. John’s.

“So where did all that mail go overnight?” asks Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “We’re convinced that Canada Post manufactured a crisis just to get the government to intervene. If so, that’s a huge concern, and it will further poison our work environment and labour relations for years and years to come.”

Last night, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu re-appointed special mediator Morton Mitchnick to assist with negotiations between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post. At the same time, the government announced it will table back-to-work legislation if a deal is not reached within days.

CUPW is glad to have Mr. Mitchnick’s assistance again, but seriously concerned about the government’s tactics. “Our negotiators will do their best to reach a negotiated settlement, but the government’s announcement pulls the rug out from under us,” comments Palecek.

“Canada Post’s negotiators still have a brief opportunity to show up and bargain in good faith.

The Conservatives violated our right to free collective bargaining in 2011. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Unionist

As I suspected, Justin is threatening to move down the same anti-Charter road as Harper. But if my guess is right, some Liberal MPs will vote against back-to-work legislation. Not enough to kill a bill, obviously, even with NDP opposition. More popcorn, please.

?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CPC Says No and is Waiting for Legislation

So far Canada Post has not moved on any of our key issues. Justice Firestone stated in his decision that after the Conservative Government introduced the back-to-work legislation in 2011, that Canada Post hardened their position in bargaining. The effect of this legislation was to “substantially interfere” and “to disrupt the balance of a meaningful process of collective bargaining”.

Now We Wait and Prepare to Fight

We are still here and ready to negotiate, but what about Canada Post? We do not know what will be in the back-to-work legislation. No matter what, you have to be prepared to fight for your constitutional right for free collective bargaining. We went to court and won this fight after the 2011 legislation. We will fight once again, should that right be taken away.

Messaging From CPC Interim President and CEO

This afternoon while the parties were working with the mediator to try and make some progress, a letter from Jessica McDonald was being handed out on the work floor. This letter is a sales pitch from Canada Post trying to convince you that they tabled offers that addressed your concerns. This is not true. Nothing in Canada Post’s proposals dealt with short-term solutions to over-burdening and inequality. Nothing to reduce the day-to-day burden that you all face and nothing to address paying RSMCs for all hours worked.

Time to Remain Strong and United

The last four weeks have been very difficult for all postal workers and their families. With the impending legislation, things will get more difficult. We have shown Canada Post that we will not back down. We are proud and we will fight for what we deserve.?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPW and CLC issue joint statement in support of workers

The Canadian Labour Congress joins the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in calling on Canada Post to negotiate fair contracts for postal workers. The CLC also joins CUPW in condemning the federal government’s back-to-work legislation.

“The right to strike is an integral part of collective bargaining. Without it, an employer has no incentive to bargain in good faith, and workers have no recourse to demand a fair process,” said CLC President, Hassan Yussuff.

“This federal government was supposed to be different from the last, and yet here we are again,” said CUPW President, Mike Palecek. “Trudeau is showing his true colours and the anti-worker agenda shared with former Prime Minister Harper. He knows we have always been prepared to bargain in good faith and to negotiate – quickly – fair collective agreements for our members. He could have directed Canada Post to do the same.”

Palecek added “Back-to-work legislation has serious long-term impacts on the work environment and on labour relations. Once contracts are imposed that don’t address our core concerns around unsafe working conditions, equality for rural carriers, and access to secure full-time middle-class jobs, that’s just more ground we’ll continue to struggle to regain.”

The Harper Conservative government’s back-to-work legislation in 2011 drove postal workers to accept regressive contracts. It was later ruled unconstitutional. After a federal review of the postal service, the Liberal government made it a priority to improve labour relations at Canada Post. Back-to-work legislation will seriously damage that effort.

“We are calling on the federal government to allow for a fair process by encouraging workers and the employer to come to an agreement that works for everyone,” said Yussuff. “This back-to-work legislation is a clear violation of workers’ Charter rights. CUPW successfully fought to have this right explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

CUPW and CLC issue joint statement in support of workers

[...]

“We are calling on the federal government to allow for a fair process by encouraging workers and the employer to come to an agreement that works for everyone,” said Yussuff. “This back-to-work legislation is a clear violation of workers’ Charter rights. CUPW successfully fought to have this right explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court.”

Small point, but surely they mean the Ontario Superior Court of Justice??

Anyway, it takes some nerve for this government to legislate away workers' democratic rights in the face of that April 2016 court decision. I guess they'll have to say, "oh, but our legislation is different", somehow.

We'll see how CUPW and the labour movement in general react - aside from press releases, that is.

And if and when it comes to a vote in the House, I'll also be watching to see whether any Liberal MPs break ranks and vote "no".?I think it could happen. Or, maybe I'm just getting soft in the head.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..yes. i did searches and found nothing from labour other than the clc. even that was minimal.

..with the cons supporting the legislation can't see it being defeated though i'm open to be wrong.?

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

..yes. i did searches and found nothing from labour other than the clc. even that was minimal.

Yup. But CUPW will need to say something clear, strong, and soon - whatever it is they decide.?

Quote:
..with the cons supporting the legislation can't see it being defeated though i'm open to be wrong.?

It can't possibly be defeated. You're right about the numbers. But some government caucus members voting against their own cabinet's and PM's strike-breaking legislation would be historic, and could have repercussions for the future. I've got a feeling.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unionist wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..yes. i did searches and found nothing from labour other than the clc. even that was minimal.

Yup. But CUPW will need to say something clear, strong, and soon - whatever it is they decide.?

Quote:
..with the cons supporting the legislation can't see it being defeated though i'm open to be wrong.?

It can't possibly be defeated. You're right about the numbers. But some government caucus members voting against their own cabinet's and PM's strike-breaking legislation would be historic, and could have repercussions for the future. I've got a feeling.

..the year parrot went to jail que psac threatened to walk out in support. there were community groups, senior groups, church groups, indigenous groups.? across the country support was telling the government not to pass legislation. it was an uprising of sorts. i wish we could see that today. ? ?

..in the late 80' was the year mulroney tried to break the strike using strikebreakers..he failed. legislation was introduced with humungus penalties attached for defiance. staying out without real support of the labour movements would have been suicide. unfortunately labour support was only lip service.

..the liberals now see the weakness of the ndp. their challenge is coming from the right and will move right to address it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPW Will Keep Up the Fight for Free Collective Bargaining

This morning, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) condemned the Trudeau government’s back-to-work legislation. Once again, CUPW and the CLC are calling for free and fair negotiations between CUPW and Canada Post for its two biggest bargaining units.

Trudeau’s move puts his government at odds with the labour movement as a whole and runs counter to their narrative of support for unions. This is the first time this government has introduced back-to-work legislation, and the message it sends to employers is troubling.

“The right to strike is an integral part of the collective bargaining process. Without it, an employer has no incentive to bargain in good faith, and workers have no recourse to demand a fair process,” said CLC President, Hassan Yussuff yesterday.

On top of that, CUPW National President Mike Palecek says the government is responding to a fictional crisis, “Canada Post seems to have convinced Trudeau that Christmas wouldn’t come without back-to-work legislation.”

“But the mail was moving, and people know it. People have been getting their mail and online orders delivered. That was the point of our rotating strike tactics, not to pick a fight with the public.”

Palecek urges the Liberals to find a way to pull back. “It’s never too late to act out their stated principles,” he adds. “Negotiations can be successful – keep the mediator, the government can direct Canada Post to negotiate fairly.? They said all options are on the table, what happened to that one?”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPW Getting Reports of Canada Post Withholding Social Assistance Cheques

Yesterday, as she introduced the government’s back-to-work legislation, Minister Patty Hajdu told the House of Commons that the most vulnerable Canadians relied on Canada Post for cheques and had been negatively affected by the rotating strikes, referencing a man named Jack, who told her he could lose his home if he didn’t receive his disability cheque.?

Postal workers in many locations are reporting to CUPW that Canada Post management has directed them not to deliver any letter mail, including pension cheques and social assistance cheques – a direct violation of an agreement signed by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and Canada Post to deliver these types of cheques during strikes or lockouts.

“Our public post office distributes government cheques that are a fundamental part of the social safety net,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “We do not want the most vulnerable to suffer because of our dispute with Canada Post, which is why we signed an agreement in the first place. If people are not receiving their cheques, it is because Canada Post has chosen not to deliver them.”

Over the past five weeks of rotating strikes, Canada Post has manufactured crises, including a massive backlog of mail and now denying the most vulnerable people their government cheques, to push the government to introduce back-to-work legislation. It seems that the government has taken the bait.

“Withholding these cheques is not only deplorable, but is illegal and the Minister representing Canada Post should investigate these claims immediately,” adds Palecek.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I let my local post person know that I was 100% behind them and shocked by the latest developments. And yes, they are still delivering mail as best they can and with kind service. Canada Post continues to behave like the worst of private sector corporations. They are not beholden to any shareholders other than us, the Canadian public. They are not in the business of making profit, or at least shouldn't be. As a crown corporation they should behave fiscally responsibly while being a humane employer and service provider. Delivery profits from online sales and Purolator courier services can cross subsidize any decreases in letter mail. They are not going bankrupt - far from it.

?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs laine

Still Working with Mediator

As the debate carries on over the back to work legislation, your negotiating committee is continuing to work with mediator Mr. Morton Mitchnick. We will continue as long as we can to attempt and achieve negotiated collective agreements. Legislation and arbitration are not the way to resolve this dispute and to try and improve the relationship between CUPW and Canada Post.

Your Actions

Your actions and solidarity continue to give us strength and the determination to get this done. Please continue doing the great things that you have being doing. We are postal workers and we will never give up.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

What Now?

Bill C-89 passed the House of Commons last night. Even though mediator-assisted negotiations are still going on, the Trudeau Liberal government chose to undercut our bargaining power and send us back to the same old unresolved problems in the workplace.

We condemn the legislation as a hypocritical act by a government that promised to defend workers’ rights, claimed to stand for equality for women, and claimed to stand for expanding and defending the middle class. It’s unacceptable for any government to violate workers’ Charter rights, especially one that said it would work to improve labour relations at Canada Post.

Shame on Trudeau and Hajdu, who promised better.

Gratitude for Supporters in the Opposition

We have to thank the NDP, who walked out in protest over the bill and the motion that stifled debate, and yet fought it until the end. The Bloc Québecois also voted against both. We, and the rest of the labour movement, will remember how they supported us at this critical time. Liberal MPs Robert Falcon-Ouellette, Wayne Long, MaryAnn Mihychuk, David de Burgh Graham, Arif Virani, and Stephen Fuhr also voted against the bill in the end.

The Conservative party, who legislated us back to work in 2011, showed very few of their faces in the House yesterday evening. Trudeau himself was absent. The postal workers in the public gallery of the House distinctly felt their disrespect.

Impacts

Going back to work under the old collective agreements would mean that between now and the holidays:

  • at least 315 disabling injuries will happen to postal workers;
  • Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers will work roughly 250,000 hours without pay;
  • Urban postal workers will work thousands of hours of forced overtime; and
  • RSMCs will continue to be treated, as Canada Post calls it, with?“equity but not equality”.

All because of this undemocratically rushed back-to-work legislation.

Bill is Not Yet Law

The bill has not passed the Senate or been signed into law by the Governor-General. Its terms come into effect at noon (Eastern Time) on the day after that happens.

Our strike actions continue, including both the rotating strikes and the overtime ban, until further notice. Your Local can give you more information.
?

Looking at our Options

Even now that the bill has passed, your National Executive Board is exploring our options for resistance. Our strike has been effective and still we want to use whatever tactics we can to pressure Canada Post toward a negotiated settlement.

We will keep you informed!

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

Gratitude for Supporters in the Opposition

We have to thank the NDP, who walked out in protest over the bill and the motion that stifled debate, and yet fought it until the end. The Bloc Québecois also voted against both. We, and the rest of the labour movement, will remember how they supported us at this critical time. Liberal MPs Robert Falcon-Ouellette, Wayne Long, MaryAnn Mihychuk, David de Burgh Graham, Arif Virani, and Stephen Fuhr also voted against the bill in the end.

Someone should remind CUPW that Erin Weir also voted no, and spoke eloquently (IMHO) against the bill as well.

I'll send them a note.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPW Vows to Fight Back-to-Work Legislation: “All Options on are the Table”

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is exploring all options to fight the back-to-work legislation fast-tracked through the House of Commons early this morning which will send our members back to the same old unresolved problems in the workplace at the busiest time of the year.

“Postal workers will not accept another violation of our right to free collective bargaining,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW National President. “It’s not just a matter of our Charter rights. This bill legislates continued injuries, unpaid work, gender inequality, and general dishonesty and disrespect.”

Going back to work under the old collective agreements means that between now and the holidays:

  • At least 315 disabling injuries will happen to postal workers;
  • Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) will work roughly 250,000 hours without pay;
  • Urban postal workers will work thousands of hours of forced overtime;
  • RSMCs will continue to be treated, as Canada Post calls it, with?“equity but not equality”.

Prior to this round of collective bargaining, the Trudeau Liberal government had claimed to be a champion for the labour movement, but through this fast-tracked legislation, it is clear that it has turned its back on postal workers.

“We condemn this hypocritical act by a government that promised to defend workers’ rights, claimed to stand for equality for women, and claimed to stand for expanding and defending the middle class,” says Palecek. “It’s unacceptable for any government to violate workers’ Charter rights. Shame on the government, who promised us better.”

The Bill was debated in the Senate today. The third reading will resume on Monday, November 25 at 2 pm ET. It has not yet been signed in to law. Meanwhile, rotating strikes and the overtime ban continue, as do negotiations.

?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Mediator’s Mandate Extension Expires

After many attempts to resolve the many outstanding issues that were necessary to achieve negotiated collective agreements, the parties remain far apart. The extended mandate of the mediator Mr. Morton Mitchnick has now expired.

In spite of the continued assistance of the mediator, Canada Post failed to address your key demands on health and safety, staffing, over-burdening, job security, a reduction in precarious employment, fair wages for all and a better work-life balance.

Our Message to Canada Post and the Government

The members of CUPW have very long memories. We will not forget how you manipulated the facts to try and force us to accept less than we deserve. We did not accept collective agreements that would not improve our health and safety or other key issues. We will hold our heads high and continue our fight to improve our working conditions, work-life balance and our wages and benefits.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Senators to resume debate on postal legislation after taking a day to reflect

Senators are to resume a special sitting today to examine a back-to-work bill that would force an end to rotating strikes at Canada Post as the walkouts enter their sixth week.

Bill C-89 was debated in the upper chamber on Saturday after the Liberal government fast-tracked the legislation through the House of Commons.

But despite an initial plan to continue debate — and possibly hold a vote — on Sunday, senators chose instead to give themselves an extra day to digest hours of witness testimony on the labour dispute.

A Senate official says final debate on the legislation is expected to begin by mid-afternoon (2 p.m. ET), likely followed by an early evening vote.

The bill could receive royal assent and become law a short time later, which would force striking postal workers back to work by noon on Tuesday.

quote:

The legislation would give a mediator-arbitrator appointed by the government 90 days to try and reach contract settlements. Failing that, a settlement could be imposed either through a decision from the arbitrator or by choosing from one of the final proposals put forward by Canada Post or CUPW.

Once enacted, Bill C-89 would impose fines of between $1,000 and $50,000 per day on anyone found in contravention of the Act, and up to $100,000 per day against Canada Post or the union if they are found guilty of violating its terms.

Unionist

Now that Bill C-89 has been given royal assent, and CUPW has asked members to resume their duties as of noon EST, I'd like to post a speech given by one senator on Saturday during second reading. I think it's worth a read:

Quote:

Honourable senators, as you know, second reading is the stage at which the government asks the Senate to give approval in principle to a particular piece of legislation, in this case Bill?C-89, the postal services resumption and continuation act.

The government touts this legislation as the answer to the problem of mail delivery in Canada. Colleagues, I would submit that far from being a solution, back-to-work legislation is a big part of the problem with Canada’s postal service.

As a journalist, I’ve been following the problems of Canada Post since the 1960s. Back in 1975, CUPW President Joe Davidson took his members out on a 43-day national postal strike. It was a long bitter struggle, but in the end then Labour Minister Bryce Mackasey and his team made a deal with CUPW without resorting to back-to-work legislation.

The 1970s, as now, were a time of great change at Canada Post. Sorting mail was no longer a craft; it was becoming a noisy assembly line where machines replaced skilled people. Management loved the machines, and they just didn’t understand the anxiety and depression felt by their employees. Morale dropped through the floor, and postal workers felt isolated and alone.

In 1975, Prime Minister Trudeau refused to intervene, and the strike went on, as I said, for 43 days, as the negotiators argued. Mr.?Trudeau was determined to let the collective bargaining process work. After all, why give someone the right to strike and then take it away at the first sign of trouble? It took political courage to stand back and let the parties fight it out. Say what you want — Pierre Trudeau had no shortage of political courage.

When he returned to office in 1980, Mr.?Trudeau put forward legislation, and in October?1981, the post office became a Crown corporation. CUPW had high hopes that a Crown corporation would be more flexible, more responsive to workers’ concerns. But, frankly, management’s record has been spotty at best. Now, 45 years later, Canada Post faces new challenges, and the fallout directly affects their front-line workers.

Today, in the era of email, parcels are the big deal at Canada Post, but the rules for parcel delivery seem based on the old mail system of envelopes, and they don’t take into consideration the human element.

In some cases, Canada Post employees are being paid for a six- or seven-hour work day, but some days — depending on the number of parcels — it actually takes them two or three hours longer to deliver all of the parcels and flyers they are expected to deliver.

(1150)

So you have workers being paid for six or seven hours but actually working eight or nine hours and getting home long after dark, long after their kids are in bed, and in some cases, as I say, they’re not being paid for that extra time.

Or, conversely, they’re faced with mandatory overtime. Again, why not hire more casual workers so that when there is a surge, regular employees can have a more reasonable work-life balance?

On-the-job injuries have shot up as the volumes of parcels have increased. None of these human resource issues are solved with back-to-work legislation. We are simply putting them on the back burner. We’re kicking the problem down the road and undermining the collective bargaining process by not allowing the parties to work it out between themselves.

Robert Paul Hebdon is Professor Emeritus of Organizational Behaviour at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. He appeared before the Senate Committee on National Finance recently, on November?7. He was testifying about Bill?C-62, an Act to amend the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, but a lot of his evidence in relation to that act is directly applicable to the legislation before us today.

Professor Hebdon testified:

A freely negotiated settlement between the parties is far superior to an imposed settlement, either by legislation or by an arbitrator, for that matter. When it’s freely negotiated, labour and management feel like they own the settlement and support it. If they are a union, they have probably voted on it. They are generally more likely to live with the terms of it if they’ve got their stamp on it.

The professor says the flip side of this principle is that if it’s imposed, and they haven’t had a significant say, you can have a demoralized public service. It could be harmful in other ways, such as grievances, confusion over the terms of this agreement. It also affects the trust between the parties and is generally negative on the relationship between those involved. Trust is everything in labour relations.

Most importantly, Professor Hebdon went on to quote research which looked at back-to-work legislation in Canada over the past 30 years. That research found a legislated settlement in a previous contract is associated with a 27?per?cent decrease in the probability of a bargain contract in the next round. Let me repeat that: When legislation imposes a settlement, there’s a 27?per?cent decrease in the probability of the next contract being done at the bargaining table.

If we look at the history of labour relations at Canada Post, we can see that while Bill?C-89 may solve a short-term problem, it is only that, short term. The tougher, better answer is to follow Pierre Trudeau’s lead and allow the two sides to continue to negotiate without the threat of legislation.

For that reason, honourable senators, I will not be voting in favour of this legislation at second reading.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs unionist

Statement from CUPW President Mike Palecek – Back to Work Legislation Next Steps

After 37 days of rotating strikes, unconstitutional legislation has removed the right to strike for postal workers.?Legal strike action ends at noon today, but the struggle is not over. You cannot legislate labour peace.? We are now moving to a different phase of the struggle. We are asking members to return to their regularly scheduled shifts as of 12:00 pm ET and await further instructions.

In the coming days, we will be calling on our allies and membership for a campaign of mobilizations, demonstrations and non-violent civil disobedience. All options remain on the table to achieve negotiated collective agreements that address health and safety, equitable treatment, fair wages and working conditions, and the democratic right to free collective bargaining.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

We Have Only Just Begun to Claim Our Power

The government has aligned themselves with Canada Post. They have legislated more pain, injuries and unpaid work. But they cannot legislate labour peace. Canada Post has the potential to do many great things for people and for our communities while creating safe, stable and decent jobs. And yet, we find ourselves back in a familiar place, where once again, the governing party has sided with the richest interests in the country, proving that corporations really control political power.

Minister of Labour Patty Hajdu, said throughout the negotiating process that she felt like a parent between two fighting children. In this case, that would make her a very abusive parent. While she often spoke of the importance of negotiated collective agreements, she also made up stories about a fictitious backlog and pensioners not receiving their cheques in order to fast-track the government’s back to work legislation. Hajdu said she’d heard from a man she identified only as Jack who faced eviction from his home due to delays in receiving his disability cheque. It has since been confirmed by her office that there is no Jack. Here we have a Parliamentarian so cynical as to make up stories, while our members continue to be injured and management holds back letters.?

The fix was in, but power speaks to power. Take heart. There is not only one side here. You have shown power and we have only just begun. One might ask what is the point of striking for better conditions when it is a game to benefit the boss and when the fix is in? Today, we should all take a deep breath. We should not feel disheartened. Our struggle has reached a new phase. We have made those in power declare openly where their loyalty lays and it is not with those forced to work like machines and do work for which they are not paid.

WE WERE SET UP

The crisis that led to the Liberal legislation was a set-up. It was manufactured and dishonest. We know management held up letter mail. We know they exaggerated the backlog of mail. The crisis was not real. The real crisis is working in pain and doing work for which you are not paid. Precarious jobs and workplace disrespect are an epidemic.

Any reasonable person, more honest than Liberal parliamentarians, would know they are receiving mail. Unless, of course it is being withheld by Canada Post, as in the case of the letter mail.

THIS IS NOT OVER

Real power is in the work we do, the relationships we build, and the lives we lead. Power happens when we stand up for each other and realize that the hurting has to stop. That power arises from our dignity when we state enough is enough. Power rests in unity, when we see ourselves not just as individuals, but also as a growing collective force. We have power and we can keep exercising it. Power only rests in Parliament if we allow it.

Violations of the Canadian constitution, lying to obtain legislation, and sending signals to Canada Post that they do not have to negotiate, are now the legacy of the government. Not over our bodies. We are in a new phase of the struggle and will never accept that workers will continue to be hurt to please wealthy corporations and dishonest politicians. This is not over. The Liberals are going into an election year.? Let us remember what they have done and let us remember that we don’t need to wait for an election to build our power and turn this around.

Stay tuned and stay solid. We are not victims here, but rather, we are like a tired giant that was pushed around too many times, and is awakening. When a very dishonest government thinks they can violate the constitution and punish us with more pain and injuries, this is what happens. We have only just begun to claim our power.

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..very cool!

Community Picket Lines Set Up at Pacific Processing Centre

This morning, we were informed that members of several major unions in British Columbia have set up picket-lines at the Pacific Processing Centre, the third largest mail plant in the country.? In solidarity with postal workers, the protest-line will allow workers in, but will not allow mail out.

“You cannot legislate labour peace,” said CUPW national president Mike Palecek. “There are fifty thousand union members that have been prohibited from picketing at post offices in this country, and three million who haven’t. We are not the only ones willing to defend the right of free collective bargaining.”

What we’re seeing in Vancouver today is that instead of resolving our dispute with Canada Post, the Trudeau Government has picked a fight with labour. “An injury to one is an injury to all” is much more than a slogan.

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We Support CUPW in the Fight Against Bill C-89

Solidarity Ottawa is taking this opportunity to publicly state our support for the membership of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) as they face the Liberal government’s unconstitutional Bill C-89, legislation intended to end their legal and entirely justified strike action. CUPW has made their members’ fight for basic health and safety and gender equality the front page news they need to be.

We want to be clear: Solidarity Ottawa supports CUPW in any and all steps it may choose to take in response to this illegitimate legislation, up to and including a decision to defy it.

Bill C-89 was put together in support of the employer side to, once again, interfere with free collective bargaining and postal workers’ Charter rights to freedom of association. This deep set class preference is also visible this week in the government’s claims of helplessness in the face of GM’s announced closure of their Oshawa plant with the loss of thousands of jobs — after billions of public bailout dollars were given to the company in 2009. Private profits restored — jobs lost.

Labour history in Canada has repeatedly shown that governments will reflexively side with employers by forcing workers back to work with legislation that is later deemed unconstitutional by the courts. By again introducing this back to work legislation, the Trudeau government is following the same anti-union script as the Harper Conservatives in their 2011. That legislation, also used against CUPW, was found unconstitutional by an Ontario court – but not until five years after it was introduced.

We agree with CUPW that this new Liberal legislation violates the fundamental rights and freedoms of targeted workers. We view it, and we should treat it, as an illegal law – not worthy of our respect....

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Postal workers and allies have now occupied the office of Justin Trudeau in Montreal.

https://twitter.com/ricochet_en?lang=de

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video report

Postal workers shut down Canada's largest mail depotLast night, on the eve of enactment of back-to-work legislation they've described as unconstitutional, striking postal workers blockaded the Gateway facility in Mississauga, blocking traffic in and out. It handles two-thirds of Canada's mail and has been described as the heart of Canada Post.

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..wow!

Community Picket Lines Set Up in Hamilton and Windsor

This morning, we were informed that union and community members in Ontario set up picket lines at the Hamilton Processing Plant in Hamilton last night and the Tecumseh Post Office in Windsor today. In solidarity with postal workers, the protest-line will allow workers in, but will not allow mail out.

These actions come a day after members from several major unions in British Columbia disrupted mail delivery with demonstrations outside the Pacific Processing Plant in Richmond the third largest mail?plant?in the country.?

“You cannot legislate labour peace,” says CUPW National President Mike Palecek. “There are fifty thousand union members that have been prohibited from picketing at post offices in this country, and three million who haven’t. We are not the only ones willing to defend the right of free collective bargaining.”

Over the last 10 years, 55 percent of the workforce in Tecumseh Post Office has been eliminated and the remaining workers have been forced to pick up the slack, working 10 to 12-hour days almost year-round. Overburdening and overwork are real issues at Canada Post that need to be addressed.

What we’re seeing in Windsor today, and Vancouver and Hamilton yesterday, is that instead of resolving our dispute with Canada Post, the Trudeau Government has picked a fight with labour. “An injury to one is an injury to all” is much more than a slogan.

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..this happened on nov 23rd

Liberal offices occupied by postal workers

This morning postal workers and allies entered and occupied the offices of Liberal MPs in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Kelowna and other locations across Canada.

The Liberal government has introduced back-to-work legislation that would end a legal rotating strike by postal workers. The postal workers say they want the MPs to listen to their constituents, and they won’t leave until they speak to them.

quote:

Occupations target Liberals across Canada

In response to the announcement earlier this week that the government intended to table back-to-work legislation, postal workers occupied the offices of six Liberal MPs at around 10 a.m. ET this morning. Occupations included the constituency offices of Finance Minister Bill Morneau (Toronto Centre), Environment Minister Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre), Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains (Mississauga—Malton), Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver) as well as backbenchers Julie Dzerowicz (Davenport) and Stephen Fuhr (Kelowna—Lake Country).

Other occupations reported as this article was written include the office of Labour Minister Patty Hajdu (Thunder Bay—Superior North) and Kate Young (London West), where postal workers arrived in the afternoon.

According to the union, their reception has been mixed. In Davenport, Dzerowicz spoke to occupiers by phone right away, although she declined to change her position on the proposed back-to-work legislation. Meanwhile across town in Toronto Centre police were called by Bill Morneau’s office.

Liberal MP breaks with party

In Kelowna, postal workers claimed a small victory. MP Stephen Fuhr spoke to the occupiers and committed to voting against his own government’s back-to-work legislation in the House of Commons this evening.

In a recording obtained by Ricochet Media, Fuhr distanced himself from the government and told his constituents that he would vote against back-to-work legislation on second reading and at report stage, saying “I’m going to support you” to the postal workers. “I’ll talk to some of my colleagues too, because there’s more than just me that is thinking about this.”

เกมส์ยิงปลาW88
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..again the 23rd

VIDEO REPORT: This morning postal workers occupied the offices of at least a half dozen Liberal ministers and MPs, calling on the government to respect the collective bargaining process and withdraw controversial back-to-work legislation that would end the legal strike at Canada Post.

Ricochet had a journalist at the occupation of Finance Minister Bill Morneau's office, and they produced this video report from the scene.

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Community Mobilization

After almost a year of negotiations, over 5 weeks of rotating strikes and the adoption of an unconstitutional law suspending negotiations there were some who thought the fight was over. WRONG! The ground has shifted, there is an updated playbook and there are some new players on the field.

This past week, supporters of free collective bargaining have been raising their voices in support of postal workers and decent working conditions. In Vancouver, Hamilton, Windsor, Whitehorse, Halifax and Edmonton protests have erupted at or near postal facilities. Voices have been raised and the message clearly heard that the government cannot sweep their latest attack on the rights of workers under the rug.

This weekend there are at least 19 more protests scheduled across the country.

?Can you help us organize in one of these cities or elsewhere? Sign up here to volunteer.

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Community Picket Lines Set Up in Halifax and Edmonton

This morning, we were informed that union and community members in Nova Scotia set up picket lines at the Halifax Processing Plant. In solidarity with postal workers, the protest-line allowed workers in, but did not allow mail out for a few hours. A similar action is also being held by at the Edmonton Postal Plant.

This action comes after members from several major unions in British Columbia and Ontario disrupted mail delivery with demonstrations outside processing plants in Richmond, Hamilton and Windsor.

“You cannot legislate labour peace,” says CUPW National President Mike Palecek. “There are fifty thousand union members that have been prohibited from picketing at post offices in this country, and three million who haven’t. We are not the only ones willing to defend the right of free collective bargaining.”

What we’re seeing in Halifax and Edmonton today in addition to Vancouver, Windsor and Hamilton this week, is that instead of resolving our dispute with Canada Post, the Trudeau Government has picked a fight with labour. “An injury to one is an injury to all” is much more than a slogan.

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quizzical

BC Federation of Labour is planning something too i?think i heard.

but maybe it was BCGEU. conventions ran back to back this week.?

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Union groups disrupt operations at Canada Post facility in Mississauga

Union groups disrupted?operations at?a Canada Post sorting facility in Mississauga for hours on Saturday, but were told to remove barricades at entrances after the company obtained an injunction.

Representatives said they were rallying in support of postal workers legislated back to work this week.

Canada Post called the barricades?"illegal" and said on Saturday?it obtained an injunction from the Ontario Superior Court on Friday that prevents "blockading"?of its Gateway Facility at 4567 Dixie Rd. The carrier added the injunction is posted at the site.

quote:

About 100 demonstrators, mostly?members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)?Ontario, waved placards, chanted, burned wood in barrels and blocked three entrances to the facility.

They said?they support the right of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)?to strike.

Enforcement officers from the Ontario ministry of the attorney general told the demonstrators at each entrance where barricades had been set up not to disrupt the operations at the facility. The officers read the court order obtained by Canada Post aloud.

Shortly after 4 p.m. ET, CUPE?Ontario said in a tweet that its members were "leaving on our own terms" and they removed their barricades.

quote:

Fred Hahn, president of CUPE?Ontario, told CBC?Toronto that the union decided to picket?the facility because working people deserve to be treated fairly. The facility is?the largest and busiest in the country, he added.

Hahn?said CUPE?Ontario wants Canada Post to know that it supports CUPW?in its fight for a collective agreement.

"We're out here to say that: 'Look, it's unfair that their constitutional right to free collective bargaining has been removed," Hahn said on the picket line.

"We're here to say to Canada Post: 'It's not going to be business as usual for you today. You have to actually pay attention to workers' rights and you sit down and bargain a fair collective agreement with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.' "

quote:

Protest 1 of many?across Canada

CUPE said?19 protests are scheduled this weekend at facilities across the country, allowing workers to enter, but not letting mail out of the plants.

Courts in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. have?granted injunctions that prohibit?anyone from obstructing or interfering?with people or vehicles entering or exiting its facilities.

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Solidarity with CUPW: Against the PC-Liberal?Clampdown

The Socialist Project expresses solidarity with the courageous actions across Canada in defence of the postal workers’ right to strike this morning.

We are proud that a number of our members participated in the pickets that shut down the Canada Post sorting facility in Mississauga.

These events remind us that rights are only won and preserved through working class struggles from below – a lesson as important now as ever before, as the federal Liberal government joins with the hard right PC government in Ontario in attacking the right to strike by imposing back-to-work legislation. Indeed, the bipartisan clampdown on the right to strike has been exhibited by the Ontario Liberal Wynne government’s attack on provincial college workers, the Ford PC attack on York University workers, and now Trudeau and the federal Liberals attack on postal workers.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the crackdown this morning by the increasingly authoritarian state on non-violent demonstrators defending basic rights in Canada and Ontario.

We welcome the statement issued by CUPE Ontario, which displays a commitment to working class mobilization that has become all too rare in today’s labour movement. Only by mobilizing in this way can unions hope to not merely defend past gains, but also make real improvements in the lives of workers and build workers’ power....

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Postal workers & allies just crashed 's nomination party to demand why he voted to strip workers' of their rights!

https://twitter.com/Friends_PS/status/1069407976811888642

...

HALIFAX: Almon Street postal sorting plant. ALL GATES. Nothing in. Nothing out. We are here for the long haul.

https://twitter.com/Tony_Tracy/status/1069365284383981574

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Actions Continue from Coast to Coast

We continue to hear of news that allies have blockaded Canada Post facilities in various locations. The labour movement is stepping up in a big way to support postal workers and fight for the right to free collective bargaining.? In Toronto, allies blocked the Gateway facility, facing down an injunction and police threats. In Halifax over the weekend, six people were arrested for blocking the Halifax Mail Processing Plant.? This morning we have heard of reports of blockades/pickets in Ottawa, Oshawa and Hamilton.? This comes after a weekend of demonstrations in 27 cities across the country.

The Liberal government thought they could legislate labour peace. They have been proven wrong.

We have also received guarantees of interest-free loans, if needed from many unions. The labour movement is prepared to put up millions of dollars for postal workers to fight this legislation in the streets and on the picket lines.

CUPW will never forget this growing display of solidarity in action. It is clear that this fight is no longer just about postal workers. This fight is about the right to free collective bargaining and impacts every worker in this country.

Nothing in Bill C-89 precludes the Canada Post and CUPW from settling collective agreements at any point.? It is time for Canada Post to get back to the table and negotiate!

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..from dec 1st. short and sweet.

CUPE Ontario issued the following statement in regard to the action taking place today at the Gateway Postal Facility in Mississauga:

Two hundred and sixty thousand CUPE members, represented in the province by CUPE Ontario, are proud to support Canada’s postal workers as they fight the breach of their right to collective bargaining, violated by the passing of return-to-work legislation passed by the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau.

This past week, instead of encouraging the management at Canada Post to negotiate a fair collective agreement that protects the rights and safety of workers, Justin Trudeau came down firmly on the side of the employer.

This decision by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Labour creates a dangerous precedent, but CUPE members will not stand idly by as the government violates workers’ Charter rights.

We will stand in solidarity along with 3 million other unionized workers across Canada to defend the rights of Canadians to free collective bargaining. Canada’s postal workers and their union will have our full support in this fight.

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Community Picket Lines Set Up in London

This morning, we were informed that Union and community members in London, Ontario set up picket lines outside the Mail Processing Plant. In solidarity with postal workers, the protest-line allowed workers in, but did not allow mail out.

This action comes after members from several major unions from in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia disrupted mail delivery with demonstrations outside processing plants in Richmond, Edmonton, Mississauga, Hamilton, Windsor and Halifax.

“You cannot legislate labour peace,” says CUPW National President Mike Palecek. “There are fifty thousand union members that have been prohibited from picketing at post offices in this country, and three million who haven’t. We are not the only ones willing to defend the right of free collective bargaining.”

What we are seeing over the last week, is that instead of resolving our dispute with Canada Post, the Trudeau Government has picked a fight with labour. “An injury to one is an injury to all” is much more than a slogan.

“We are overwhelmed by the display of solidarity from across the country over the last week,” adds Palecek. “Our allies have braved the cold, the rain and even the police to picket for us when our right to strike was taken away. It’s clear that this fight is no longer just about postal workers. It is about the right to free collective bargaining and it impacts every worker in this country.”

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CUPE leadership approves $1 million loan for CUPW

CUPE’s National Executive Board has approved a $1 million interest-free loan to support Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in their efforts to secure a fair collective agreement. In recent weeks, postal workers have faced attacks on their rights not just from their employer, but from the federal government as well, which used a draconian back-to-work bill to legislate them back to work on?Monday.

We are proud to stand with postal workers in every corner of Canada, from coast to coast to coast, in their struggle for equal pay and better health and safety protections on the?job....

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Holiday Season and Overburdening

The holiday season is upon us once again. This is the busiest time of the year in terms of workload, as parcel and Admail volumes are at their highest in the weeks leading up to the holidays.??

While your employer alleges it takes your health and safety seriously, you are the one who can best protect yourself from harm. You have the right to refuse to perform dangerous work!? At times, we are faced with having to decide between serving our customers well and protecting our physical and mental well-being and safety.

Too often, we have to deal with severe or even extreme weather conditions, dangerous situations such as workplace violence, a high level of stress caused by an excessive workload and long hours of work, even more so at this time of the year. All of these situations can lead to anxiety and jeopardize our health and safety.

That is why it is important to remember that workers have an individual right to refuse, which is recognized by some collective agreements and the Canada Labour Codes.

You have the right to refuse work if you have reasonable grounds to believe that the performance of this work will endanger your health and safety, or physical well-being, or may similarly endanger a co-worker.

HOW TO EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO REFUSE

Under the Collective Agreement

For urban unit members, inform your supervisor and shop steward immediately that you are invoking your right to refuse under clause 33.13 of the collective agreement.

As soon as the employer is informed, it must conduct an investigation in your presence, if you wish, and in the presence of union representatives or a member of the Local Joint Health and Safety Committee representing the employees, to determine whether an immediate action is needed to eliminate potential risks.

Until the situation is remedied, the employer cannot assign any other worker to the portion of the work that gave rise to the refusal.

Under the Canada Labour Code

RSMCs and members of federally certified private sector units can exercise their right to refuse under the appropriate provisions included in Part II of the Canada Labour Code (Section 128). Provincially certified units follow their provincial labour codes.

In the federal sector, you must inform the employer, who must conduct an investigation in your presence immediately.?

If the employer does not remedy the situation to your satisfaction, and you wish to maintain your right of refusal, you must inform the employer and the Local Health and Safety Committee or the health and safety representative (offices with fewer than 20 employees). The Committee will then designate two members (an employee representative and an employer representative) to conduct an investigation.

Following this process, if the employer concludes there is no danger, it must advise you in writing and, if you do not think it is safe, that is when you must inform the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that you wish to continue to refuse.

Please contact your Local or regional office if you are under provincial regulations.

Taking our health and safety seriously at work can make a difference between being seriously injured, which could have a long-term impact, or lead to death, and being able to spend precious time with the people you love and be able to truly enjoy the upcoming holidays.

The struggle continues!

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