June 14, 2016
OTTAWA – Urban and rural postal workers have signed memoranda of agreement with Canada Post that they will continue to deliver pension and social assistance cheques, and have further committed to ensuring no live animals get caught in the mail if there is a shutdown due to a labour dispute.
“We don’t want the most vulnerable people in our society – pensioners and those living on low incomes – to suffer because postal workers might get locked out or forced out,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“Nor do we want a repeat of what happened in 2011, when managers locked us out for two weeks, trapping animals such as bees and baby chicks in the system,” added Palecek.
Canada Post, which just reported another hefty annual profit, is demanding a raft of concessions from the postal workers and has budged very little in negotiations over the past months. The union is seeking equal pay for its female-dominated rural members.
CUPW has signed similar agreements in the past, with the exception of the provision relating to live animals, which is new. Under the agreement, there would be up to two national days of delivery each month, performed by volunteers for a small honorarium.
The union will encourage volunteers to donate their honorariums to charity.
“CUPW isn’t doing this for the money. We’re doing it because it’s what’s right,” said Palecek.