Pressure mounts on postal negotiations

  • Apr. 26, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have voted 94.5% in favour of striking if necessary to obtain a collective agreement that addresses real problems and meets their needs.

“We hope the sky-high strike vote and the record turnout of our members will put pressure on Canada Post to negotiate,” said CUPW National President Denis Lemelin.

“Canada Post has been very focused on its demands, not ours. The corporation wants to pay new employees 30 percent less. It wants to reduce their benefits, weaken their job security and provide an inferior pension. It also wants to attack retiree benefits, sick leave and turn back the clock on many other contract provisions.”

The results of the strike vote show that postal workers will not accept these rollbacks. According to Lemelin, the post office is about to announce its 16th consecutive year of profits. The corporation also plans to make huge productivity gains through modernization. Postal workers are saying they deserve a share of the benefits.

“A 94.5 % strike vote sends a clear message to Canada Post’’said Lemelin.”CUPW members want a collective agreement that recognizes our work is behind the increases in profits and productivity. They want management to share, instead of attacking our wages, rights and working conditions.”

Meanwhile negotiations continue, with the aid of a government-appointed conciliator. If an agreement is not reached, CUPW gains the right to strike on May 24 at midnight.