Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's been a long standing policy of Canada Post to remove actual post offices and place outlets in such places as 7-11s and pharmacies. This, of course, reduces costs, as the employees in such places work for minimum wage and have no benefits. Those of us who use the postal service, however, know that the level of service to the public is considerably reduced. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), however, has had a long standing campaign to organize the employees in pharmacies so that they can achieve wages beyond the minimum. A side effect of such organization would be that service to the public would be improved. Here's a press release from CUPW about their campaign..
CUPW fights Canada Post's "cheap labour strategy" by organizing its postal employees in pharmacies
MONTREAL, March 1 /CNW/ - Over 2000 Canada Post counters are now open for business in pharmacies. That number is growing as Canada Post continues to open more counters in pharmacies across the country.

That's why the union representing postal workers has been busy persuading employees working at postal counters in Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, Familiprix and Uniprix stores to join its 55,000-strong ranks.

So far, the organizing drive has resulted in 211 employees in Montreal and Saskatoon joining the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. On February 28, CUPW's Quebec region filed an application on behalf of 25 more workers at Familiprix. If the application is successful, this will raise the number of unionized postal counters in pharmacies to 51 and counting.

"Although they handle mail and do the same work we do, the people working in these outlets earn the minimum wage and have precarious jobs," pointed out Jacques Valiquette, National Director for the Montreal region of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. "As negotiations between Canada Post and CUPW continue, we want labour standards to improve for all postal workers."

In response to the organizing drive, Canada Post and the major pharmacy chains have hired a small army of lawyers to argue that the Crown Corporation has nothing to do with employing these postal clerks. But CUPW vows to keep on signing them up.

"Organizing is a win-win situation," said Valiquette. "Postal workers at these counters will be able to make improvements in their working lives and Canada Post will not be able to use a cheap labour strategy to undermine our collective agreements."

For further information:
contact Aalya Ahmad, 613-327-1177


Larry Gambone said...

That is good news. But one other think the kleptocrats controlling the PO have done is sell off most of the old post offices - all of which were paid for years ago. Now they rent their POs from private concerns. Nice form of corporate welfare eh?

mollymew said...

Very true Larry. I actually hadn't thought of this, but it's an interesting thought. It's hard to get numbers on this sort of thing, let alone names. Some of the property sold by Canada Post in this city is prime land, and the tenants of same are NOT the actual owners. One wonders...a)who the purchasers were, b)what was the price paid c)what was the tender process d)what are the terms of payment and, of course e)what connection the purchasers had to the Conservative Party.

It's certainly NOT the sort of arrangement any private individual like you or I would make would make unless it was VERY temporary. The Conservatives have often been accused of trying very hard to destroy Canada Post so maybe their plans are what you and I would make for living in a dump temporarily until ducking taxes by moving to the Caribean. Too bad that neither of us have such money.

Yeah it's pretty suspicious, unless you assume a long term plan to actually destroy Canada Post.

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