OTTAWA â€“ The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is accusing Canada Post of aggressively trying to force postal workers out on a full-scale national strike in order to secure back-to-work legislation from the majority Conservative government.
â€œCanada Post is doing everything it can to provoke the union into a national walkout in the hope that the government will intervene,â€ said CUPWâ€™s National President and Chief Negotiator Denis Lemelin.
Although CUPW offered to suspend its rotating strikes and go back to work, provided that the expired collective agreement is reinstated in order to protect members on the work floor, Canada Post management has refused. CUPW says its offer to call the strike off still stands.
â€œThey are not interested in negotiating with us to end this strike. They want to force postal workers to take concessions,â€ said Lemelin. â€œTo that end, they are suspending postal service across the country, even where no picket lines are up.â€
Calling Canada Postâ€™s recent announcement that service will be reduced to three days a week a â€œpartial lockout,â€ Lemelin urged the media and the public to get all the facts. At a press conference held today, the union distributed a list of pointed questions that it wants the media and the public to ask Canada Post.
Since the rotating strikes began ten days ago, less than one third of the population has experienced any loss in service. The union points out that Canada Postâ€™s reduction will amount to a far greater impact in just one day than anything the union has done so far. â€œDespite mail piling up in its plants, Canada Post is unnecessarily reducing service across the country,â€ said Lemelin. â€œThey do not have to impact the service to get us to negotiate. We are at the bargaining table and willing to negotiate a settlement.â€ â€œThere would be no stalemate at the bargaining table if Canada Post were prepared to negotiate.â€