Postal workers state case

The recent contract negotiations between Canada Post and its largest union have been widely reported in the media, yet I don’t believe Canadians are getting all of the facts.

The recent contract negotiations between Canada Post and its largest union have been widely reported in the media, yet I don’t believe Canadians are getting all of the facts.

Canada Post is demanding that the current sick leave benefits be replaced by a new short-term disability program. In order to understand the ramifications of this program, the public needs to be aware that more than 10% of postal workers were hurt on the job nationwide last year. In 2010, 5.75 per 100 postal workers suffered from a disabling injury as a result of working at Canada Post.

The number of days lost due to an injury per employee (WCB approved) was 3.94 days in 2009. The severity of postal worker injuries is also much worse than average, yet Canada Post wants to introduce a program that would give their consultants the final say over a doctor’s decision, and would leave some workers unprotected.

Canada Post has been profitable for the last 15 years. They say they can’t afford to negotiate a contract without rollbacks, yet they posted their highest profit ever (281 million) in 2009. They mislead Canadians by claiming lettermail volumes have declined , but the fact is overall mail volumes are about 10% higher now than 10 years ago. They also claim that the union’s demands would cost 1.4 billion dollars, yet refuse to explain how they justify this number.

Canada Post provides universal, reliable service with one of the lowest standard postal rates in the industrialized world. Postal jobs provide workers with a decent wage, benefits and pension. Postal workers spend money in their communities, boosting the economy for all.

They can maintain their families’ health and education, providing the next generation of Canadians contributing to our society. Retired workers do not live in poverty, draining our country’s social programs. Our struggle is for good jobs and better lives for all Canadians.

There is nothing broken here; why does Canada Post want to ‘fix’ it?

Cliff Vico, president

CUPW local 848