Just stick to delivering mail.

 The Canadian postal workers used to gleefully hold the Canadian public hostage with their chronic strikes that would cripple the nation. They often would strike (or threaten to) shortly before Christmas when people wanted to send their gifts and such. We were dependent on mail and strikes were often settled quickly and in favor of the workers in order to end the damage being done.

 It has now been over 10 years since the last general strike by Canada Post workers. This must be a new record since the postal service was unionized and there is no indication that we will see a strike any time soon. The reason for this is that when the postal workers last went on strike in 1997 the world had changed on them. Email, private couriers and fax machines had made the nation far less dependent on the postal service. Instead of driving the nation into fear and discomfort as they usually had done when going on strike, what the postal union garnered in the 1997 strike was rage and loathing. The public was annoyed by their strike, but with modern technology the outcome of the strike was not the expected shutdown of business and finance as past strikes had been.

 With this sudden and complete loss of public support, the Liberal government pounced and drafted back to work legislation. What was great with this is that the postal workers were now forced to settle for an offer that was even less than the last one from Canada Post that they had rejected. The humbled postal workers grumbled back to work fresh with the knowledge that the public was no longer nearly as reliant on their unskilled and over-compensated efforts as they used to be. The postal union has not dared to strike since.

 While strikes are off the table for the union as the postal service is now so easily replacable and the public really does not feel that glorified flyer delivery people deserve any further raises, this has not stopped the union from trying to exert force and power upon Canadians.

 While unions are supposedly there for the representation of workers, they are increasingly poking into the world of global politics. The latest stunt has been for the president of their union to call for a boycott of goods from Israel and to threaten to block mail to and from Israel! The threat came from a letter sent in response to a Jonathan Kay article in the National Post. The response from CUPW president Denis Lemelin is below:

Re: Jonathan Kay asks: Now that CUPW is boycotting Israel, will Canada Post deliver mail to the Israeli embassy? April 28.
If Jonathan Kay admits “I’m no labour expert”, why does he direct questions about the internal workings of CUPW to everyone except the union itself? If he had bothered to ask us, we would have supplied a pretty simple answer: Unlike the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinian mail, CUPW has no plans to block mail to and from Israel as of yet. Our concern is that the policies of the Government of Israel are unjust and violate international law; therefore we will be encouraging our members to boycott Israeli made products. We are taking this position because over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations have called for a global campaign similar to the one applied to South Africa in their apartheid era. These measures will continue until the Israeli government recognizes the right of Palestinian people to self-determination, puts an end to military assaults, hydrocide and other acts of violence that take the lives of innocent people, and until Israel fully complies with international law, including a raft of UN resolutions. It’s time to push for a fair and just settlement so that both Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace. 


Denis Lemelin
National President, CUPW

As of yet????!!!  Who the hell do you think you are??? It is not the place for postal workers or their union to decide which nations they will or will not deliver mail to or from. It never will be their place.

 To Canadian postal workers I say this; Your skills are on par with that of children who deliver flyers after school and on weekends for minimum wage. You can and will be easily replaced if you push things too far.  If ever you take it upon yourselves to start selectively delivering our mail based on political stands of your union, you can rest assured that privatization of your employer will be very soon to follow. You lost the last time you listened to your union leadership and went on strike, you will lose again if you follow the path that your current president is following. You have it pretty good right now. I stongly suggest that you either take your union leadership to task on this one or replace them. You are government employees and are obligated to deliver that mail. Stick to your mandate.

5 thoughts on “Just stick to delivering mail.

  1. First off I am a Letter Carrier. Lets get that out of the way. I don’t have the reply you think you would receive from a postal worker however here it is. I Agree with you (On the Resolution).

    I don’t support Palestine or any other elected government who preaches Genecide. As Well to support Palestine would be to forget the thousands of years of persecution the Jewish people have taken from the Arab World. With that said I beleive you would be applauding the Union if they had drafted a propostion to support Isreal and Boycott Palestine.

    I would however like to disagree with you on a few of your other comments. First off Making a good wage shouldn’t be a crime (We have kids to feed too Grinch). We have not been on strike because we have been able to negotitate good collective agreements without action.

    Second. I have been here for ten years and I am delivering more mail and especially parcels than I ever did. The internet has increased our volumes. In General our “First Class” Mail has dropped, but our overall service has increased. The efforts of postal workers have resulted in 100’s of Millions of dollars being put into general revenue of the Tax Payers even after our “Overcompensated Agreements” A Lot of people depend on us and appreciate the service they get. P.S. Walking around for 5-8 hours like a pack mule every day is a lot harder than it looks in your 5 second snapshot of us daily.

    In the sake of keeping this somewhat short I will finish with three short comments

    1) We did change our dreadfull leadership at the same time the resolution was drafted to Denis Lemilen
    2) Just as you are commenting on world events and are given the right by the constitution for freedom of speech. So are Postal Workers
    3) Nobody is stopping mail from Isreal ( The sky is falling chicken Little )

    Brad Woods
    Letter Carrier
    Nanaimo Bc

  2. I appreciate the response.

    I understand that nobody is stopping mail from Israel, I never said that you are as of yet. Your president however did say “as of yet” in his letter. That can only be taken as a threat to stop deliveries and as he is elected to represent you, I can only read that he is indeed representing your (postal workers in general) views until you replace him.

    I would not be supportive had the postal union taken a stance on the other side of the Israel/Palestine issue. I don’t feel that unions have any place taking such stands on any issue outside of their supposed mandate of representing labor.

  3. Brad, I’d be the last one to deny you folks at the post office the right to bargain and, if need be strike, for fair wages and working conditions. I have been a craft union member for many years (now retired) and I have learned that management does not easily let it go of its power or its money without a struggle.
    My problem is with your union council and board of directors. When I see blog sites with that nut-case Judy Rebick offering her support to a cause promoted by CUPW I know you are in deep trouble. This twit has slurped from the public trough all her life as she ran around supporting every wing-nut advocacy group in the country. In these times of government privatization, I would suggest you folks get together and clean house. That’s what we failed to do in the boilermakers local I belonged to until we started to notice that all our work was going non-union. We cleaned out the radicals and brought in some reasonable people who were willing to show employers that we no longer tolerated drunks, and no-shows and job-site agitators. Our percentage of the construction and repair work has rebounded because of this. Don’t let the politicized goofs turn public opinion against you or you’ll all be working for some cut-throat private company at half your wages and with no benefits.

  4. I do appreciate you allowing my repsonse. Our Union Leadership is generally elected by a small number of people at each location (The Rank and Files fault for not going to meetings). Most of the general membership rollls our eyes at the things our leadership and the fringe that supports them do. Its just the way it is and I would guess on this issue most of us would have either it rather not have Cost us the 10’s of thousands of dollars in our union dues in delegate wages and conference costs, arguing and voting on this issue or voted differently.

    To the Public: Our union ON THIS ISSUE in my opinion does not represent the people actually doing the work. The Mail will go to and from Israel.

    On a side note, for a group of people with no business in world politics. We sure got a heck of a lot of print in the news and in the blogosphere on this.


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