WINNIPEG – Postal workers are organizing at the Liberal Convention in Winnipeg this week, hoping to persuade delegates that new services at Canada Post should be high up on the Liberal policy agenda.
“We’re here to talk about some good ideas we’ve developed for better services like postal banking, check-ins for seniors and persons with disabilities, more services for Northern and Indigenous communities, a greener post office and, of course, door-to-door delivery,” said Gord Fischer, National Director of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Prairie region.
While the Liberals campaigned on a promise to stop the previous government’s cuts to Canada Post, they steered clear of promising to restore home delivery to everyone who lost it under Harper. Instead, they have launched a public review that they say will be as consultative as possible. The CUPW wants to make sure Canadians weigh in on that review knowing they have options for innovation.
“Improving and expanding the services we can offer and making the most of our profitable delivery network will benefit all Canadians because the post office is everywhere in our country,” said Basia Sokal of the CUPW Winnipeg Local.
The posties are encouraged by a resolution put forward by the Alberta Liberal Party that calls for Canada Post to help with “basic economic infrastructure” in rural communities, including offering identification cards, high-speed internet and banking services.
“Our campaign to bring back postal banking is clearly picking up momentum,” said Fischer. “As Canada Post admitted in a study on postal banking that they censored, it’s a ‘win-win.””
To help restore delivery of mail and parcels to displaced residents of Fort McMurray, Anzac and Fort MacKay as soon as possible, Canada Post has put emergency measures in place. Residents can register at any post office across the country or online. Details below:
To help reconnect displaced residents with the postal system as quickly as possible, we are asking them to register for our Mail Forwarding service. This is an important service not just for ongoing mail and parcels, but it also provides a vital link with government and relief agencies going forward. Continue reading →
OTTAWA – Canada Post has been a money-maker for most of the past two decades and continues its winning streak, netting almost 100 million (99 million) in 2015.
“Thanks to record parcel volumes and the hard work of postal workers across the country, Canada Post has once again reported healthy profits. We can now take a real look at the options on the table without having to worry about a manufactured crisis,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“They would have made millions more, had they not tried to push their so-called “community mailboxes” on us,” added Palecek.
The union points out that its pension plan is also healthy on a going-concern basis, with a $1.2 billion surplus.
While CUPW has no argument with the reality of fewer letters being sent, it notes that the Crown Corporation also tends to downplay its booming parcel sector and has refused to explore other options for making money. Part of the mandate of the new Task Force is to explore these options, including postal banking.
“We agreed long ago to a system that allows Canada Post to accommodate fluctuations in mail volumes. So Canada Post can and does routinely restructure its routes to accommodate what’s in the system,” said Palecek.
“We’re happy that we’re finally going to have an opportunity to talk about expanding services and reinvesting some of Canada Post’s profits in ways that benefit all of us.”
OTTAWA – The federal government’s long-awaited announcement of a review of Canada Post is welcome news for Canada’s postal workers, who are looking forward to the public having a say in what tomorrow’s post office can do for the country.
“This government has a historic opportunity to reinvent Canada Post. We’re glad privatization isn’t on the table. We need to get out of the rut of endless cuts, and start getting excited about the possibilities,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Continue reading →
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 2, 2016) – On Thursday May 5 The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are coming together to call on the Federal government to bring back postal banking and ensure that fair banking is a reality for low and moderate income Canadians.
A Fair Banking campaign backgrounder (clink link to view) recently released by ACORN Canada shows it’s expensive to be poor in Canada. As mainstream banks leave lower income communities and deny its residents products and services to meet their needs, lower income Canadians are forced to depend on the predatory fringe financial sector that take their place.
“Payday lenders have moved in and filled the void left by banks in many communities, and people are being driven to payday lenders and installment loans when banks deny them basic banking services like overdraft protection, lines of credit and hold-free accounts,” says ACORN Canada spokesperson Donna Borden. “As a result, predatory lenders are the only option for many people living pay-cheque to pay-cheque when their car breaks down or hours are cut.”
On Thursday May 5, ACORN and CUPW members will be holding a National Day of Action with rallies planned in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver to say that low-income earners need a postal bank as an alternative to payday lenders.
“People need an alternative to payday lenders, somewhere they can go and not be gouged,” said Mike Palecek, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “A postal bank could be that alternative.”
CUPW and ACORN are calling on the government review of Canada Post to recommend the addition of financial and banking services at Canada Post, or at a minimum, a task force to determine how to deliver new financial and banking services through our postal service.
OTTAWA, April 28, 2016 /CNW/ – Postal workers are cheering today’s ruling that the former Conservative government violated its members’ freedom of association by legislating them back to work on June 26, 2011.
“This is a win for workers everywhere,” said Mike Palecek, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“In 2011, Canada Post and the Conservative government gamed the system by first locking postal workers out and then forcing us back to work. This interference was completely unfair and meant we could not freely bargain.”
The ruling by Ontario Superior Court Justice Firestone declares that the Conservative legislation, which also imposed an offer on the postal workers, “violates the rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression” under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sections 2d) and 2b), and that it is “unconstitutional and of no force and effect.”
“Let this be a warning to Deepak Chopra and his 22 vice presidents that the legislation trick won’t work this time,” said Palecek.
CUPW is currently in negotiations and Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra, who shut Canada Post’s doors nation-wide and locked out the postal workers in 2011, remains at the helm. The Crown Corporation management has applied for conciliation and refuses to entertain any of the postal workers’ demands for improved services and an end to concessions.
“Canada Post is already trying to push things by starting the countdown to a lockout,” said Palecek.
“This time, they won’t be able to count on the government to make it easy for them.”
OTTAWA, April 4, 2016 /CNW/ – In what postal workers say is a “cynical attempt to provoke a labour dispute,” Canada Post Corporation has filed for conciliation surprisingly early on in its negotiation process with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“This is unprecedented in our history,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, “Canada Post has not even finished giving us their demands and they are already preparing to push matters to a head”.
The long list of concessions demanded by the Crown Corporation so far includes hefty rollbacks on pensions, benefits and job security. Canada Post negotiators have refused to consider any of the union’s proposals, including ideas for service expansion and pay equity for the female-dominated rural carriers.
“In June 2011, Deepak Chopra had no scruples about shutting down the postal system and locking workers out,” said Palecek. “These Harper appointees want to break our union at any cost, with no regard for the public and the services they rely on.”
The union also points out that a postal review is in the works and that Canada Post’s actions could interfere with that process.
“Canada Post should be preparing for public consultations about the future of the post office,” said Palecek. “Not declaring war on its workers.”
A postal worker in Thunder Bay ended up in hospital on Wednesday after a community mailbox toppled over onto her as she was delivering the mail.
“It fell right on top of her, breaking her glasses, hitting her head and her right shoulder was injured,” said Joanne Nowosad, president of the Thunder Bay local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, in a statement issued on Thursday.
“These mailboxes are a clear and present danger to public safety… what if it had fallen on top of a child?”
The worker’s injuries were not believed to have been life-threatening. Photographs taken by union representatives show the box somehow became detached from its concrete base, causing it to fall forward onto the ground.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is concerned about changes Canada Post warns could be coming.In May, the Crown Corporation will start test-sorting Charlottetown mail in Halifax. The move would reduce the amount of work clerks at the depot and postal carriers in Charlottetown need to do.
Canada Post says no permanent changes will made until October, but it’s warned the union up to three letter carriers out of 20 delivering in the capital may no longer be needed.
The head of the Charlottetown local, Pearl Gillis-Palmer said Canada Post isn’t telling them how the decision will affect clerk staffing levels.”The only thing that we have so far, is that it looks like there, the letter carriers, their positions will be deleted,” she said.