1. Mass action in Ottawa to defend the Post Office
TML Daily (Jan. 28) – ACROSS the country from January 25 to 27, postal workers and their supporters held actions to express their outrage against plan of the Harper government and Canada Post to wreck the post office.
The largest demonstration took place in Ottawa on January 26, the eve of the opening of Parliament. Around 3,000 postal workers and their allies came from across Ontario and Quebec on January 26 to denounce “Five Point Action Plan” for wrecking announced by Canada Post in December 2013, and to show their support for the public post office. From the energy of the crowd, the signs and messages, and the long distances traveled by many it was evident that a determination exists among postal workers to launch a fight to stop the dismantling and privatization of postal services and defend the rights of all. On short notice postal workers and those in other sectors organized themselves to come from near and far and held the largest workers’ rally in the capital in some years.
Workers’ signs and slogans displayed a spectacular array of creativity and resistance to express utter contempt for the fraud orchestrated by the Harper Dictatorship and Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra. The postal workers fully exposed the fraud of Harper’s claims about job creation and importantly showed that their livelihoods and standards are directly connected to the provision of the services incumbent in a modern public post office. They also exposed the absurdity of Canada Post’s claims that increasing prices and reducing services will protect the public post office rather than dismantle and destroy it, which is in fact the aim of the Harper Dictatorship. A consistent refrain of the workers was to place the blame squarely where it lies, with the Harper Dictatorship’s nation-wrecking, pointing to the necessity to do away with it in a conscious manner.
Besides the postal workers, Ottawa residents from all walks of life, seniors, youth and students came out to express their opposition to privatization and their demand that governments fulfill their responsibility to provide public services commensurate with a modern economy. Workers from various sectors joined the postal workers in demanding the withdrawal of Harper government plans to dismantle the public post office. These included members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Service Employees International Union, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Unifor Quebec and Unifor Canada, Steelworkers (Metallos), Syndicat canadien de la function publique, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Ontario Public Service Staff Union, and others.
The enthusiasm and fast action of the postal workers and their allies to thwart the schemes to wreck the public post office means that if the rank and file can discuss the problems and elaborate their own agenda they can certainly resolve this crisis in their favour. Seizing this opportunity to build the unity and fighting strength of the postal workers and their allies can lead to the discovery of the ways and means to halt the destruction of the public post office and hold governments to account. The demand of Harper Out, Now! is a step in this direction to be taken up by the workers and all Canadians as a practical decision to implement and make a reality.