Tag Archives: Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)

In Memoriam Robert Devet

A reflection by Tony Seed*

Robert Devet, 1954-2021

This reflection was written on October 13 and expanded on October 17. Some 400 people gathered at an outdoor memorial meeting to honour the life of work of Robert Devet held in Halifax on Thursday evening, October 14.

Robert Devet was born in Holland in 1954 to a progressive, anti-fascist family. His maternal grandfather, Hendrik Koch, was a family physician in a poor working class neighbourhood in Amsterdam who championed the rights of women to have control over reproduction and a political activist in the international communist movement who also moved to the Soviet Union for a period. After having been taken prisoner in 1941 fighting the Hitlerite German occupation of the Netherlands, he died in 1942 in the Nazi concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg. His name is on the national list of honour in the House of Parliament in The Hague. Robert Maarten de Vet was a son of Huibert A. de Vet (born in 1920) and Sophia Louisa Jacoba (“Pop”) Koch (born in 1918). Both his parents took part in the heroic resistance of the Dutch people in different ways. His father was an expert forger of documents used to get Jews to safety and his mother was a member of the communist party (CPN) during and right after World War II and worked on its newspaper De Waarheid. Robert was part of a broad wave of youth who came forward in the Sixties to oppose the racist and fascist South African apartheid regime and the American war of aggression against Vietnam. In a reflection, his sister Hélène de Vet writes that “especially his mother, but in a certain way also his father, were independent and outspoken people. They were neither conformist nor bourgeois. We like to think that all of us children have inherited some of this contrarian ‘family’ attitude.” [1]

Robert emigrated to Nova Scotia with his partner Maria van Gurp from Halifax in 1979 where they soon married. He worked as a civil servant with Service Nova Scotia in information technology. After Maria passed way and his retirement, without any formal background in journalism he began writing for the Halifax Media Co-op in 2012. In stylistic terms, his writing was simple, straightforward and to the point. He was a faithful interlocutor who conducted interviews with respect. Colleague Hilary Lindsay notes that he authored over 300 articles between September 30, 2012 and December 19, 2015. He was without a doubt motivated by the direction of the anti-social, neoliberal agenda of the Nova Scotia government, which he experienced first hand. His last series of articles for the Halifax Media Co-op supported the almost two-year-long strike of newsrooms staff at the Halifax Chronicle Herald, part of the Saltwire media monopoly, which he backed up by participating on the picket line of his colleagues.

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No to legislating against postal workers’ rights!

Workers’ concerns are everyone’s concerns

By Jeff Callaghan*

I think that the biggest issue for us as CUPW, when it comes to our employer, is making sure that the employer, and through extension the government, respects the work we do and does not just pay lip service to it. When we are in a pandemic they call us heroes, they call our work essential, and yet every time we go to exercise one of our fundamental rights in this country, that being the right to withhold our labour, the government steps in and has the employer’s back.

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Canada Post attacks Cape Breton delivery drivers

Gordie MacDonald, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 117 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia reports that Canada Post is firing delivery drivers in the Local and replacing them with new hires. Thirteen drivers in and around Sydney, one in Antigonish and several more in St. Stephen, New Brunswick have been notified that their jobs have been eliminated. One driver has delivered parcels for Canada Post for thirty years.

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This Day. Postal workers launched a 42-day strike for paid maternity leave

A July 11, 1981 demonstration in Edmonton, Alberta | CUPW/AUPW.

1981 (30 June): Forty years ago, 23,000 postal workers in the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) launched a 42-day strike for paid maternity leave and other just demands. They had already held wildcat strikes in 1965 against sexual harassment and for better pay. In fact, the wildcats of ’65 were the main reason why the Canadian government institutionalized collective bargaining for public servants in 1967.

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The Amazon deal: Trudeau government’s use of pandemic to serve private interests

By Louis Lang

On April 3, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that his government had signed an agreement with Amazon Canada to manage the distribution of medical equipment, such as masks, gloves and ventilators that are needed in all the provinces and territories.

Trudeau did not provide any details on the value of the contract but a government news release issued later the same day said that Amazon was providing the service to Canadians at cost, without profit. Continue reading

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Postal workers on the front lines serving Canadians: Canada Post must ensure its workers are protected

Postal workers’ needs to perform their work in a safe manner have been systematically ignored. Postal workers’ concerns are not only for their own safety but for that of the public as well | LOUIS LANG

As the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak requires large portions of the population to self-quarantine, the service provided by postal workers is more important than ever to keep lines of communication open at a time on-line shopping becomes a main means households are using to provision themselves. Enabling postal workers to carry out their tasks means that workers in sortation plants, retail offices and letter carrier and rural and suburban mail carrier depots must be provided with equipment and working conditions they require to ensure their safety on a daily basis. Continue reading

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CUPW condemns Canada for supporting US-backed coup in Venezuela

CUPW logo

(February 7) – CUPW condemns the Government of Canada’s decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, over the elected president Nicolas Maduro. Continue reading

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Postal workers and allies take action against Bill C-89


Picket outside Canada Post’s AGM, Ottawa, December 12, 2018.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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. Continue reading

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Back-to-work legislation: Postal workers treated like criminals by Trudeau government

• Postal Workers treated like criminals by Trudeau government – Louis Lang
• Canada Post not the workers has been withholding social assistance
cheques – Canadian Union of Postal Workers
• Renewed attacks on postal workers: We take it personally! – Pierre Soublière
• Postal workers demand justice as Trudeau meets with Corporate Calgary
• Photo weview: Postal workers’ rotating strikes and occupations

– All articles from Workers’ Forum, November 29, 2018

December 1 Day of Action in Support of Postal Workers

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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Negotiate don’t dictate! No to the criminalization of workers’ struggles for their rights!

Canada Post and Trudeau government provoke a crisis in relations of production | Workers’ Forum, November 22

The Trudeau government has issued a Notice Paper in Parliament to criminalize postal workers’ right to negotiate their terms of employment. The Notice of back-to-work legislation includes closure to force its passage within the afternoon when introduced. This back-to-work order placed on the agenda of the Parliament of Canada deprives postal workers of their right to negotiate a collective agreement regarding their terms of employment in a calm and fair atmosphere between the collective of postal employees and their employer, which includes the right of workers to engage in job actions to prod their employer to negotiate. Continue reading

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Postal workers’ demands are just!

Condemn the Trudeau Government’s Anti-Worker Law!

The Trudeau government has tabled a bill to force striking postal workers back to work. The bill also imposes mediation to rule on unresolved issues between the two parties and gives the mediator-arbitrator the power to impose binding arbitration on matters that are not resolved through mediation.

CPC(M-L) firmly condemns this bill which criminalizes postal workers’ struggle for their rights and contributes to the creation of a climate which permits corporations to impose their dictate by depriving the workers of their right to negotiate their conditions of work based on the issues they have identified and to take labour action to achieve this. According to news reports, this bill will be adopted this weekend by imposing closure on debate in both the House of Commons and the Senate. We call on all workers to firmly denounce this anti-worker legislation and express their support for the postal workers’ just struggle.

To read the bill, go to http://cpcml.ca/Articles/181122-BillC89.HTM.

Parliament Hill Rally to
Oppose Anti-Worker Law Against Postal Workers
Friday, November 23 — 7:00 pm
Organized by Canadian Union of Postal Workers Ottawa Local

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Postal workers’ demands are just

Postal workers begin rotating strikes. Photos from across Canada

Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMCs) picket in Nova Scotia, October 22

Workers’ Forum

On Sunday, October 21, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers National Executive Board informed postal workers that last minute discussions with Canada Post failed to address the demands of the union. A bulletin to union members stated that Canada Post negotiators refused to address the workers’ demands and consequently the union would begin rotating strikes at 12:01 am on October 22, in Victoria, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Windsor, Ontario; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Continue reading

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Postal workers’ fight: the key issues

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Prince George, BC, September 28, 2018

On Monday morning, October 22, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), which represents 50,000 postal workers, began rotating strikes in four cities of Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor, Ont., and in Halifax.  Almost 9,000 workers in the Greater Toronto Area walked off the job Tuesday at 12:01 am ET. Continue reading

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Liberals’ hypocrisy on home delivery and a universal postal service

Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough announced on January 24 what she called “the government’s vision for renewal at Canada Post.” Minister Qualtrough declared on behalf of the government that its “new vision is that of a renewed Canada Post that will provide high quality service at a reasonable price to Canadians no matter where they live.” The Minister did not elaborate the meaning of this “new vision” and “renewed Canada Post.” Notable as well was her refusal to refer to any of the reports or thousands of views submitted by Canadians on what they would like to see with a renewed Canada Post. Continue reading

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Negotiations at the post office and the destruction of the principle of universality

Workers fight to get Canada Post to recognize their rights | LOUIS LANG* 

Negotiations are taking place between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The contract of the Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) expired on December 31, 2017, and the contract of the Urban Operations group expires on January 31. Continue reading

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Intransigence of Canada Post and the right of postal workers to a say on their working conditions!

Montreal, June 20, 2011: “No to back-to-work legislation; support the postal workers.”

Montreal, June 20, 2011: “No to back-to-work legislation; support the postal workers.”

By LOUIS LANG*

On Thursday, August 25 the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) postponed a press conference and after an all-day meeting of its National Executive Board announced that it was issuing a 72-hour notice of strike action. In a bulletin to its members CUPW stated, “Based on Canada Post’s refusal to agree to the 24-hour extension of our strike mandate, we have issued our 72-hour notice of strike activity. We will be in a legal strike position as of 11:59 pm Sunday, August 28, 2016. The NEB will inform everyone if, when and what strike activities will occur. Please monitor all communication channels so that you are informed.” Continue reading

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Canada Post’s vicious, immoral and irrational blackmail of postal workers

Hold Canada Post and the Trudeau government to account for any harm that comes to postal workers!

As the deadline for the lockout of postal workers by Canada Post approaches it is clear that the corporation has decided to proceed in a spirit of revenge against postal workers and their union. It is not only preparing to impose severe rollbacks but is seeking to overwhelm postal workers with irrational demands such as that management can set whatever working conditions it wants. This attempt to use their corporate power to deprive the postal workers of their right to working conditions commensurate with the work they perform is not only vindictive – it is irrational. The post office has a century of experience in the kind of working conditions required to run the postal service. There is a modern way of doing things which takes the needs of human beings into account. The corporation’s calculations that it can impose its agenda by smashing the workers’ resistance and their fight for the rights of all is self-serving and cannot be accepted. Continue reading

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Day of working class unity and struggle in defence of the rights of all!

WCMustConstituteNation

  • Statement of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
  • A Time to Think About Concrete Solutions to the Problems the Workers Face – Peggy Askin
  • The Neo-liberal Ideological and Institutional Basis for the Negation of Workers’ Rights – Pierre Chénier

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends militant revolutionary greetings to all the working people across the country on the occasion of May Day 2016 as well as to the workers in all countries demonstrating on this day. May Day is always a time to think about the struggles the workers have waged in the past year and continue to wage in defence of their rights and the rights of all. It is a time to raise the demands of the workers’ movement and accept the challenges the workers face in the coming year. Continue reading

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Canada Post suspends program to eliminate home delivery

Defend the public post office. LOUIS LANG*

Cape Breton stop, July 17, 2015, on national tour by CUPW which continued through the federal election demanding that door-to-door mail delivery be maintained.

In a news release on Monday, October 26, 2015 Canada Post announced that the elimination of door-to-door delivery and conversion to community mailboxes was being suspended. The corporation stated that they wanted to work “collaboratively” with the government to face the challenges of the postal system. Continue reading

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Harper’s attack on the rights of public sector workers

LOUIS LANG on vindictive moves against public sector workers

Collective bargaining for more than 100,000 employees of the federal public service, represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), and the employer, the Treasury Board, have been underway for several months. On September 10, Treasury Board negotiators tabled a proposal that would gut the sick leave provisions for these workers. This proposal comes in addition to other changes it has proposed including privatizing management of sick leave. Continue reading

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The fight of public servants to defend their rights

By LOUIS LANG

Workers’ Forum (Sept. 8) – The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) which represents the 27 bargaining units with over 100,000 members has recently filed an unfair labour practice complaint in response to the unilateral actions of the Treasury Board of Canada to “claw back sick leave benefits from employees.” PSAC contends that Treasury Board has been sending misleading communications to public service workers while the two sides are in negotiations announcing its intention to impose a Short Term Disability scheme to replace the present provisions of the contract which provide a system of paid sick leave. Continue reading

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Flaherty should be held responsible for economic damage, wrecking Canada, criminalizing Canadian workers and repeated war budgets

He was a political representative of the financial elite and a neo-liberal champion of its anti-union, anti-worker, anti-social and anti-national offensive. The media and political parties of the establishment are politicizing and manipulating the death of Jim Flaherty, giving the battle-cry “Glory to the Harper agenda – to its heroes glory!” | TONY SEED

Workers demonstrate outside of Flaherty’s campaign office in Whitby-Oshawa during 2008 election.

(Apr. 11, revised Apr. 13, 15) – THE MEDIA is going non-stop in its eulogizing of Jim Flaherty, who passed away suddenly on April 10. Until his retirement recently, Flaherty had been federal finance minister since the 2006 electoral coup that brought the Harper government to power and one its most powerful and prominent figures. On the basis of a motion by NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, the House of Commons immediately suspended its regular business on the afternoon of April 10 and devoted a session to tributes from all parties before adjourning. Opposition MPs reportedly hugged Conservative MPs. Media accounts highlighted plaudits from the major banks, which they called “the business community.” “I will miss working with Jim,” TD Bank president Ed Clark gushed. “I greatly admired his passion for improving the lives of Canadians.” The media created online books of condolences.

The dominant media and political discourse advances the view that regardless of one’s individual views on Flaherty’s policies and budgets, he had human qualities; he “put partisanship aside” in the common pursuit of “growing the Canadian economy,” and hence “politicians of all stripes are mourning him.” The illusion is spun that capitalism can be reformed and saved from its basic contradictions through fiscal and budgetary policies such as those implemented by Flaherty that generally reduce state investments in social programs and increase the amount given directly to finance capital.

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Canada Post’s ‘crisis creation’ has been ongoing for years

by TONI MACAFEE*

Save our public post office.harper resignWITH the recent announcement by Canada Post of its five-year business plan, many people have been left wondering what is going on at the post office.

For years Canada Post has been successful, making profits in each of the last 17 out of 18 years; with the exception of 2011 – the year that Canada Post locked out its workers and then went to the Government to have them legislated back to work. It was also the year that Canada Post was forced to settle a $200 million, two decade-long, pay equity lawsuit with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). Continue reading

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Protests across Canada as Parliament opens.3

What the workers had to say

Workers’ Forum and Forum Ouvrier journalists spoke with participants throughout the postal workers’ demonstration in Ottawa on January 26. Here is what they had to say. Continue reading

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Protests across Canada as Parliament opens.2

2. Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Prince George – reports & photos

Postal workers and their allies took up the call to mark the opening of the federal Parliament with vigorous actions across the country.

Halifax

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Protests across Canada as Parliament opens.1

1. Mass action in Ottawa to defend the Post Office

2014.01.26.OttawaPostalRally-Crowd-09

Ottawa, January 26, 2014

Ottawa, January 26, 2014

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. Continue reading

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Keep the Post Office public!

Postal workers face the challenge of Harper government’s attacks

130209-Windsor-CanadaPostRally-03

By LOUIS LANG*

TML Daily (Jan. 24) – POSTAL WORKERS are continuing their fight against the “Five Point Action Plan” announced by Canada Post in December 2013 one day after the adjournment of the House of Commons. The plan consists of the elimination of home delivery, a drastic increase in the cost of postal services, accelerated privatization of retail outlets and further attacks on the wages, working conditions and benefits of postal workers. Continue reading

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Parliament opens on Monday: Harper Out, Now!

Actions by postal workers to oppose the Harper dictatorship’s nation-wrecking

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Rallies against attacks on public post office and postal services

National Day of Action to Save Our Post Office and Stop Attacks on All Public Services

110613-CornerBrookCUPWRotatingStrike-04The Conservatives are planning to end home mail delivery and to destroy our public post office. Cuts to the public services we need and cuts to good jobs in our community? No way!

The Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council is working closely with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to help build a solidarity campaign in the city. Our goal is to stop the cuts to home mail delivery, to fire Canada Post’s management, and to modernize the post office through new services like postal banking. Continue reading

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Confront Canada Post’s disinformation

Mike Palecek's photo.By WAYNE MUNDLE*

THE elimination of Canada Post’s door to door delivery and 8000 letter carrier positions sounds like a “fait accompli.” Most of the media latched onto this well orchestrated announcement like it is a done deal. Some investigative journalism might have exposed the outright deceptions in the announcement and the collusion between the Conference Board of Canada and the President of Canada Post who is a director on this board. Continue reading

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