Thursday, November 29, 2018

Back-to-work legislation not fair in Canada Post situation

The New Brunswick Union supports the men and women of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in their efforts to get a fair contract.
Earlier this week, both the House of Commons and the Senate voted in favour of a back-to-work legislation that would force Postal workers back to work, ending their rotating strikes.
By forcing CUPW members back to work, the federal government has made it more difficult for the employees to get a fair deal as Canada Post now has no incentive to negotiate in good faith.
Only three of New Brunswick’s government officials voted against the back-to-work legislation, namely Saint John MP Wayne Long and Senators René Cormier and Paul McIntyre.
In a Telegraph-Journal article on Nov. 28, 2018, it states, “Independent Sen. René Cormier also voted against the bill, citing workers have the constitutional right to strike. In a speech, he said that Canada Post is not an essential service as an agreement ensures employment insurance and old age security cheques, among other counted-on payments, are getting through.
There’s also debate about whether the legislation is a violation of CUPW members rights to collective bargaining.
The former Conservative government led by Stephen Harper passed back-to-work legislation in 2011, but it was overturned by the courts in 2015.
Fundy Royal MP Alaina Lockhart explained her decision to vote in favour of the legislation in a Facebook post. It cites the hardship the rotating strikes had created for those in the rural portions of her riding as well as small businesses. What the post didn’t address are the issues facing CUPW workers.
According the CUPW the key issues for postal workers in this round of bargaining are job security, an end to forced overtime and overburdening, better health and safety measures, service expansion and equality for rural workers.
The union cites deteriorating working conditions over the past decade in part because of the massive increase in parcel volumes as well as workplace injuries which have gone up by more than 40 per cent in the last two years.
Forcing CUPW back to work with this legislation was the wrong decision by the federal government. It places the needs of businesses and corporations over those of its citizens and workers. This is becoming an all too familiar trend in Canada at all levels of government.
We stand with the members of CUPW and salute the NB politicians who had the courage to stand up for workers.