I was member of CUPW for 35 years. Often, I had major disagreements
with union positions. You can check out my history with CUPW on this website at
www.cupw.info. I don't pull any punches.
Over the last 25 years, CPC has depended on the Government to bail
them out from militant unionists that wouldn't compromise.
CPC is between a rock and hard place this time. Other unions in
the Post Office have already accepted "The Sick Leave Insurance Plan" and because of CPC pension liabilities it looks like
the pension plan has to move from "defined benefits" to "defined contributions" for new employees. These are probably the
biggest rollbacks in the history of CUPW and CPC.
I can't see either side moving on these issues. CPC has about 6
billion in pension liabilities and lettermail revenues are going down. CUPW has strict principles concerning these major rollbacks. With support from PSAC and other unions, they can't loose face by accepting CPC rollbacks.
The only answer is legislation to end the strike. This would be
binding arbitration on the most contentious issues.
A rotating strike like this one could go all summer which could
adversely affect small businesses, charities, and Canada Post revenues which it needs to pay the liabilities on its pension
I'm worried about this because hardening of positions from CPC and
the union isn't going to do anyone any good.
The solvency of Canada Post is a major issue for retirees
because we all depend on a pension with defined benefits. The CPC pension plan was founded by Government legislation and Canada
Post has to make up for any shortfall. The pension shortfall has to come out of the profits of Canada Post or it has to borrow
money from a bank or The Federal Government. M.P.s should be aware of the above and should do what is necessary to continue
the solvency of Canada Post and its pension plan.
There is an unreality on these facts in CUPW because
the union is still stuck in the 1970s and 80s when supposedly "big gains could be achieved with big strikes".
Canada Post has locked out all urban employees.
They claim they've lost over 100 million from the strike, so far. In reality, they don't want to subsidize CUPW strikers with
CPC pay checks as the strike goes on and on and on.
This is also a message to the Federal Government that
says "SOS!!! bail us out quick". It doesn't take any imagination as to what happens next.
Both sides are blaming each other for no talks today. Security for the Canada Post Pension Plan needs to be addressed, but ill will has undermined positive activity at the bargaining table. You can't negotiate anything if you don't
talk to anyone.The lockout threw CUPW executives for a loop, now it's legislate rather than negotiate.
Update June/20/11 to June/24/11
The NDP makes the postal strike/lockout into a political issue and a filibuster continues
for 4 days. Tired M.P.s sleep in their offices or play games during rest periods. The same points are made over and over again
with different politicans.
The back-to-work legislation makes it through The House of Commons today. M.P.s including
the NDP members are tired and want a summer vacation. "If the teachers take the summer off, why can't we?"