As the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) turned down the latest proposal from Canada Post, some mail carriers are raising concerns about job action.
One Canada Post worker is speaking out against the union. She is a Calgary letter carrier who spoke to Global News on the condition of anonymity for fear of being blacklisted by the union.
The worker said when she spoke to her coworkers, the vast majority of them would have voted to accept the Nov. 19 offer.
“I talked to 50 or 60 people,” the worker said on Monday. “Only one person said they would not vote for the offer.”
Canada Post said their “last-ditch effort” would have immediately ended rotating strikes by delaying the negotiation process until at least Jan. 21, 2019.
In mid-October, the CUPW voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate. The CUPW said it gave the union the ability to negotiate with Canada Post without taking every offer to a vote.
The worker said the union’s focus on health and safety is being blown out of proportion.
“This is not dangerous, put-your-life-on-the-line work,” the worker said. “I don’t go into work every day and fear that I will get injured. The biggest threats are slips, trips and falls.”
The CUPW said on its website that postal workers have the highest injury rate in the federal sector.
Gord Fischer, a national director for CUPW, said he’s focused on the well-being of workers.
“The injuries at Canada Post are higher than in the mining industry,” said Fischer. “We have five times [the number of injuries] the average of the federal sector.”
Fischer added that injuries have risen over recent years due to changing delivery methods and an increase in parcels.
The CUPW said it’s kept in touch with the workers it represents. Fischer said while he’s talked with some workers that are in favour of the most recent deal, most still want to hold out.
“Right now, our membership is giving us extreme support in terms of fighting for a strong collective agreement,” said Fischer. “It’s their health and safety we are concerned about.”
Canada Post said the suspension of strikes would have allowed it to start to get mail and parcels moving again. With packages now backing up at distribution centres across the country, workers know it’s impacting the public.
“I feel bad for them,” the worker said. “They may have [mail] in limbo and they don’t have a clue if it will get there before Christmas.”
Even if CUPW agrees to a deal with Canada Post, Fischer said it would take at least six weeks for workers to vote on any agreement — long after the holiday rush.