As Canada Post steps up provocations, union silent on back-to-work law threat
Roger Jordan and Keith Jones
17 November 2018
Canada Post has taken a series of provocative steps since last Tuesday, with the clear aim of providing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with pretexts for making good on his threat to criminalize the campaign of rotating strikes that 50,000 letter carriers, mail sorters and other postal workers have been mounting since October 22.
On Tuesday, government-owned Canada Post announced that it was indefinitely suspending mail delivery-time guarantees. The next day it tabled a concessions-filled offer of a four-year contract. Citing the need to maximize profits during the annual Christmas mail rush, Canada Post management declared this offer “time limited”: if the union does not sign on to it by 11:59 p.m. today, Saturday, November 17, the offer will be withdrawn.
Yesterday, Canada Post effectively shut down a large part of its operations, when it announced that it was requesting all foreign postal services, including the US Postal Service, to temporarily hold all mail destined for Canada. It blamed the decision on a massive backlog of unsorted mail.
Postal workers must beware. While Canada Post and the Liberal government are conspiring to break their strike and impose still further rollbacks, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is maneuvering to shut their job action down.
It has said not a word about Trudeau’s November 8 declaration to parliament that “all options” are on the table if the union does not soon agree to terms with Canada Post, even though that threat was publicly reiterated by a Labour Department official this week and has no doubt been repeatedly restated by government representatives in private.