Postal workers and their allies are continuing their ongoing campaign demanding that Bill C-89, the legislation ordering postal workers back to work, be withdrawn and the contract with Canada Post be settled by negotiations and not government dictate.
On December 12, more than one hundred people gathered at Canada Post Headquarters in Ottawa to demand that Canada Post listen to the just demands of postal workers. At 1:30 pm, Canada Post was holding its Annual General Meeting and postal workers, accompanied by members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Unifor, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Union of Postal Communications Employees as well as executive officers from the Canadian Labour Congress and the Ottawa District Labour Council marched to Canada Post to have their say about the violation of their right to negotiate their wages and working conditions.
Picket outside Canada Post’s AGM, Ottawa, Decmber 12, 2018, is addressed by former CUPW President Jean-Claude Parrot.
Speakers from the unions present, as well as community groups, expressed their full solidarity with the fight postal workers were waging against the Trudeau government’s imposition of Bill C-89 which interferes in the negotiations process and criminalizes the workers.
Mike Palacek, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, emphasized that postal workers had just gone through 36 days of rotating strikes, now declared illegal by the Trudeau government, but the struggle was not over. He vowed that the union, with its allies all over the country, would continue the fight for health and safety, proper wages and elimination of precarious work at the post office.
Ottawa, December 11, 2018.
On December 11, postal workers from Gatineau and Ottawa and members of community groups picketed a Liberal Party fundraising event at the Canadian Museum of History.
At one point, Greg Fergus, Liberal MP for Hull-Aylmer, spoke with the workers to convince them that the arbitration process would be beneficial for the workers. This was angrily rejected by the workers who pointed out that it is their right to have a say in their working conditions and this was being violated by the dictate of the Liberal Government.
Picket outside MP Bratina’s office, Hamilton, December 6, 2018.
In Hamilton the Labour Council organized a picket outside of Liberal MP Bob Bratina’s office on December 6. Postal workers, United Steelworkers Local 1005, OSSTF and others gathered to let the Liberal government know they oppose the back-to-work legislation.
Speaking at the action President of the Hamilton and District Labour Council Anthony Marco stated that this legislation denying postal workers their right to strike is an attack on the rights of all workers and opposing it is everyone’s fight.
Randy Drees, Second Vice-President of CUPW Local 548 Hamilton, pointed out that the Trudeau government is sending the postal workers back to the same unsafe working conditions and inequality that they have been negotiating to correct for over a year. Far from addressing the workers’ legitimate concerns, the government is addressing those of corporate giants like Amazon and eBay who told Trudeau they do not want their profits touched.
Dennis Van Meer, Vice President of United Steelworkers Local 1005, noted Trudeau claims the back to work legislation was necessary because the rotating strikes were hurting the economy. GM announced the closure of the Oshawa auto plant. This hurts the economy. The Trudeau government has negotiated a new NAFTA agreement, the USMCA, without the removal of the tariffs on steel and aluminium. This hurts the economy. Where is the defence of the rights and well being of the workers, he asked.
Postal workers and their supporters have vowed to carry on the fight against this unjust legislation and further actions are planned across the country.
Workers’ Forum, December 13, 2018