“We hope the sky-high strike vote and the record turnout of our members will put pressure on Canada Post to negotiate,” said Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ National President Denis Lemelin in a statement released April 18 on the union’s web site.
He was referring to the inspiring 94.5 per cent vote in favour of going on strike if necessary to obtain a good collective agreement.
CUPW members know they are in a serious fight. Management wants to pay new employees 30 per cent less. It wants to reduce their benefits, weaken their job security and sick leave, and eliminate many other past gains.
The results of the vote show that postal workers will not accept these rollbacks. In this respect, they are setting a powerful example for the entire labour movement.
Noteworthy is the fact that Canada Post is about to celebrate its 16th consecutive year of profits. The corporation also plans to make huge productivity gains through modernization. Postal workers deserve to share in the benefits.
Negotiations continue, with the aid of a government-appointed conciliator. If an agreement is not reached, CUPW has the right to strike as of midnight May 24.