LETTER: Postal work stoppages hurting everyone

Canada Post employees are entitled to fair bargaining...

To the Editor,

Canada Post employees are entitled to fair bargaining for a new contract between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers ( CUPW) and Canada Post corporation, but should not be having work stoppages at a time of the year causing significant negative impacts on Canadians, charities, businesses of all sizes, international commerce, Canada post, its workers and their families.

The legislated back to work ruling covering 90 days means that talks will be continuing with a government appointed mediator-arbitrator to try and resolve remedies to vote on and approve a new contract. Just because a union contract has expired, nothing changes. That is, paycheques keep coming, and all benefits are still in effect. Once a new contract is approved, postal workers seem to forget that the most important issue in new contract negotiations, is that pay rates are all retroactive from the date of the new contract, meaning keep on working.

Trying to protest by performing work stoppages is only causing postal employees to be shortchanged on their paycheques.

An example of this is when the B.C. teachers union advised the teachers to go on strike: none of them ever regained what they had lost in wages, as they signed a new contract which was already 99 percent of the original offer. Back in Newfoundland, during the same time as B.C. teachers were striking, the teachers union in Newfoundland told the teachers that the most important issue in contract negotiations is the word retroactive. It took 25 months for a new contract to be signed in Newfoundland. Teachers did not lose a dime, and received retroactive pay from the date of the new contract.

It is easy for union management to tell the members to go on strike as the union management do not lose any pay from their paycheques. Just imagine how things would be different if union management had to lose some of their wages too. Union workers fail to realize there are four important factors in a working job: working conditions, their supervisor, job security and wages/ benefits.

Too many think that No. 4 should be No. 1, but why go to work when you have poor working conditions and a supervisor you cannot stand?

Joe Sawchuk,

Duncan

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