Canada Post’s lockout is a sham

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
Canada Post’s lockout is a sham

Canada Post protesters

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canada Post’s lockout is a sham

A 72 hour lockout notice has been issued by Canada Post.

Here is what is really happening. Canada Post is refusing to bargain. They have only tabled one offer during negotiations and routinely issued misleading statements that the union is asking for $1 billion in demands. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is trying to negotiate for pay equity for the Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers, which is a heavily female dominated occupation. They also have been trying to resist massive rollbacks to their rights and benefits, especially for new hires.

Canada Post’s management wanted this to end up in a strike or lockout (though they preferred the former).

Why you ask? Quite simply they want to sabotage the review of Canada Post set up by the new Liberal government. The review, launched this past May, is looking at the cuts to Canada Post and the prospect of home mail delivery. During the election the Liberals signalled they would restore door-to-door mail delivery, however, the fine print of their platform only promised a review. It is clear the Liberals are using the review to diffuse anger over the cuts without committing to do anything about it. Nonetheless management at the Crown Corporation sees the review as a threat....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPW Files Unfair Labour Practice Complaint Against Canada Post

The Canada Labour Code provides that the parties have a duty to make every reasonable effort to negotiate a collective agreement and must bargain in good faith. Furthermore, employers are prohibited from interfering in the affairs of a Union. Today, CUPW filed a formal complaint to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) that Canada Post management has failed to negotiate in good faith and is interfering with the Union’s right to represent its members.

The complaint covers both the Urban and RSMC bargaining units. It describes in detail the refusal of CPC to engage in any meaningful discussions or negotiations regarding the RSMC unit. With respect to both the Urban and RSMC units, CPC has refused to negotiate on their global offers which were submitted one week prior to the parties obtaining the right to strike or lock-out. CPC has also circumvented the bargaining process by negotiating through the media. An example is they claim our proposals will cost $1 Billion, which they repeatedly make to the media but refuse the Union’s repeated requests to justify their numbers.

Instead of bargaining, the employer has simply tabled offers that it knew would be totally unacceptable to the Union. Finally, management representatives have been communicating directly with Union members, making threats and spreading disinformation.

Once both parties have made all of their submissions, the CIRB will determine its procedure. We have asked that the complaint be heard immediately....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Trudeau government must put an end to Canada Post’s pension attack

quote:

"This government was elected on a commitment to support good jobs and help Canadians afford retirement. Canada Post’s attack on its workers’ pensions is completely out of step with that standard,” said Yussuff. 

“Prime Minister Trudeau and Public Services Minister Judy Foote cannot stand on the sidelines – they need to tell Canada Post that its attack on pensions is unacceptable,” Yussuff added.

“At a time when Canada Post is reporting consistent profits, they are peddling a myth that they are struggling financially, in order to slash pensions for new employees and justify unfair wages,” Yussuff added. “Indeed, no other Crown corporation is threatening to introduce a two-tier pension that would put future workers’ retirement security at risk."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..brought this over from the other thread. thought it was worth repeating

Unionist wrote:

It's a 2011 thread, unfortunately, when CUPW did in fact run rotating strikes.

Bad tactic, I thought at the time (sorry to be critical). And when Harper and his Canada Post hacks got fed up, they engineered a lockout, which served as Harper's back-to-work legislation pretext. I dearly hope (and I do believe) that CUPW is playing it smarter now. But the key is not tactics. It's keeping your eye on the main prize. If anyone can halt the craven abject drive to making concessions on behalf of the unborn (not yet hired), I'm confident it will be CUPW and their allies.

mark_alfred

Canada Post has always been a very aggressive employer.  I remember about 15 years ago seeing a mailman be followed by a guy with a device used to measure walking distance (basically some circular thing that he ran along the ground that he used to tally distance).  What kind of a workplace hires someone to follow you around measuring your every step?  Canada Post, it seems.

SeekingAPolitic...

Its about future of the pension system in the federal employment.  I don't know the history of union activites involved in pension reform of the private sector.  Effectivley the defined benefit plan was largely curtailed in the private sector.  Private sector unions fought against the defined contribution plan and they largely lost.  The smart thing to do at the point in history was for public sector unions use their power, every resource to back the private sector unions.  If they did that I salute the public sectors unions involved but on the other had is public unions stood by and decided "Its their problem" not ours then the decision was extremely short sided decision.  And predictable thing happened.

Now the right is coming for the pensions of public sector.  The right is saying look the private sector has minimal defined benefit plans so we have match the private sector.  The right will say the federal burecruates have sweet deal and tell the masses that they have no defined benefit plans.  Every dollar spent public service pensions is a dollar taken out your pocket.  Why are you paying for this sweet deal considering you have no sweet deal yourself.  The trick here is to isolate the individual and appeal to individual self  interest.  Since most people have no idea about the benefits of sticking together rather following narrow interests the rigth will pit union workers vs non union workers. 

If Canada post union folds on the pension system than in 20 years the public service will have a majority of defined contribution plan.  This will set a precendent for how the government will deal with public service pension plans.  Even if the canada post gives in to the union demands its not over.  While the public sectors are a fortress, they can hold for long time but if they can not hold forever with out the public having an shared interest with non union workers and private union sector workers.  If I was head of a public union 1) raise dues in significant way and make finincial donations to the privte sector unions to work on grassroots union organizing for the private sector.  Without out strong private sector unions the public sector union will not be able to hold. That is what I think is happening.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The Steelworkers in Sudbury walked the picket lines against Vale-Inco for almost a year primarily over the same pension issue and other two tier demands from the company.  The union movement stood on the sidelines and sent platitudes in support. Without cross sector solidarity and a real commitment to "an injury to one is an injury to all" the union movement has been going backwards in this country for 30 years.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..petition

Give us back our Postal Service: Tell Harper-appointed Canada Post CEO to step down

Chopra's contract is Conservative attempt to undermine democratic choice

Appointed by Harper in 2011, Chopra was previously an executive at Pitney Bowes, a mail supply company that is currently actively lobbying for privatization of the US Postal Service. He has appointed other Pitney Bowes colleagues to executive positions at Canada Post.

Privatization, experience tells us, results in higher costs, diminished services, lower pay for workers and degraded work conditions.

As CEO, Chopra has pursued a reckless plan to strip down Canada Post by cutting services to rural communities and eliminating door to door delivery. This, while ignoring proposals to expand services, like postal banking.

Just before the 2015 election, the Conservative Government gave Chopra a five year contract extension worth $2.5 million... starting next year.

While Chopra is still in charge, the following will be impossible:

Harper's attempt to lock in his vision of a privatized Canada Post in his absence was illegitimate and anti-democratic. The new government has asked Chopra and others to step down.

We voted out Harper, and now it's time for Chopra to go.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

‘Equality is the law, not an award’: Pay equity for rural carriers not a case for arbitration: CUPW

Postal workers have politely declined a suggestion from federal Minister of Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk to bring negotiations with Canada Post management to binding arbitration, saying it’s a matter of principle.

“We appreciate the offer to help, but paying women equally for work of equal value is the law of the land; it’s not something that can be awarded or withheld by an arbitrator,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

The union is demanding that Canada Post create an hourly wage for rural and suburban mail carriers, 70% of whom are women. They currently earn on average almost 30% less than their mostly male counterparts in the larger urban unit. 

Palecek noted that Canada Post fought a major pay equity claim for 28 years, all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was eventually ordered to pay an estimated $250 million settlement in 2011. It’s still looking for some of those women, some of whom have passed away.

“Wouldn’t it be easier, not to mention cheaper, for them to just do the right thing now so rural and suburban carriers don’t have to wait?” said Palecek.

The Special Committee on Pay Equity recently recommended proactive pay equity legislation, which puts the onus on employers so that workers aren’t forced to fight wage discrimination in the court system. Canada Post has refused to conduct any investigations or studies to determine if it is in compliance with the pay equity legislation. Palecek said that postal workers don’t want to wait for years for legislation to settle the matter....

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quote:

Connect the dots...

Mr. Deepak Chopra has been the Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post Corporation since February 1, 2011 and also serves as its President. 

Mr. Chopra served as the President at Pitney Bowes of Canada Ltd. in 2006. ... 

Pitney Bowes manufactures postage machines for private industry...

My thanks to a union brother who posted the above on FB.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Huh?

I'm trying to "follow the money" here, but I'm not seeing what's hinky about that.  All a postage meter does is print postage on an envelope.  The company using one still pays Canada Post for that postage, not Pitney Bowes or whoever else makes that meter.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Huh?

I'm trying to "follow the money" here, but I'm not seeing what's hinky about that.  All a postage meter does is print postage on an envelope.  The company using one still pays Canada Post for that postage, not Pitney Bowes or whoever else makes that meter.

Quote:

Appointed by Harper in 2011, Chopra was previously an executive at Pitney Bowes, a mail supply company that is currently actively lobbying for privatization of the US Postal Service. He has appointed other Pitney Bowes colleagues to executive positions at Canada Post.

No problem of course we can trust him with a public service. There is no way he could be setting it up to fail.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I see.  So a decade ago, he worked for a company that's trying to privatize delivery in another country.

Is the thesis that he could be a mole, on the payroll of PB?  Or he drank the "privatization kool-aid" while there and it's still in his stomach?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Postal workers call for one-month cooling-off period, “intensive negotiations”

Postal workers are proposing a 30-day cooling off period to Canada Post management to address concerns about “uncertainty” in the mail system and give negotiations a chance to succeed.

“Our members, their families and all Canadians do not deserve to have this threat of a lockout ‘looming’ over our heads from a profitable public service. Postal workers want to work and people need to know that it’s safe to use the mail system,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

The union says it is prepared to engage in “intensive negotiations” with Canada Post during the cooling-off period, which would include an extension of the terms and conditions of 50,000 workers’ current contracts. As a sign of good faith, it has offered to drop an unfair labour practices complaint filed against Canada Post if management agrees to the union’s proposal....

Unionist

Sounds like a good move - kind of thing I would have done lol - although I'd have considered offering 6 months.

Plus, I hope they've filed a pay equity complaint about the rural/urban divide, in addition to having it on the bargaining table. I understand their point that instead of spending years warding off employer appeals, judicial reviews, etc. (which the employer of course will lose), they should just get Canada Post to concede the point in bargaining. But I see no downside in fighting on both fronts simultaneously. I'm sure they've thought all this through, though, and understandably we're not privy to their tactical thinking.

Still, the key things, I think, are: 1. Make it politically as difficult as possible for Trudeau to impose anything. 2. Paint the employer in its true villainous colours and win the battle for public opinion - always a tough assignment. Probably not the right time to revive Joe Davidson's memorable declaration ("To hell with the public!").

When you're facing an all-powerful enemy, you need to destabilize them at every step. 

mark_alfred

Quote:

2. Paint the employer in its true villainous colours and win the battle for public opinion - always a tough assignment.

Yes.  Have you ever seen the movie American Dream?  It was about a strike where a huge amount of effort by the union was put into garnering public support.  Good film about a good effort, though kinda sad that it wasn't a successful effort in the end.

Unionist

mark_alfred wrote:

Quote:

2. Paint the employer in its true villainous colours and win the battle for public opinion - always a tough assignment.

Yes.  Have you ever seen the movie American Dream?  It was about a strike where a huge amount of effort by the union was put into garnering public support.  Good film about a good effort, though kinda sad that it wasn't a successful effort in the end.

Yes indeed, seen it, fine flick. But fighting the UFCW international leadership can be more difficult than fighting most employers.

mark_alfred

Yeah, the lack of solidarity with the UFCW and the local was the main issue behind that failure. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the public has always been on side for expanded services. even more so in rural communities. the libs will try to sway that and try to prevent expansion from being part of the discussion. postal banking is also worth fighting for and it's being called for south of the border as well. i have a feeling that this is a time of opportunity when various communities come forward. but i watch how this unfolds with bated breath.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canada Post bargaining truce could fall apart over 'poison pill'

Hope that a work stoppage at Canada Post could be avoided for at least one more month faded Friday as a proposed truce fell apart over what the union called a "poison pill" from the Crown corporation.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, facing being locked out by their employer on Monday, and Canada Post were both ready to agree to a 30-day cooling off period that would keep packages and mail moving under the old contract and let negotiations continue without the threat of a work stoppage.

But Canada Post said it was willing to continue bargaining for another month only if the union agreed to binding arbitration in the event a deal could not be reached -- a proposition CUPW had previously rejected.

The union's executive couldn't agree to the Canada Post proposal, saying binding arbitration would be giving up their right to negotiate a deal.

Without a truce or deal, Canada Post will be in a legal position to lock out the 50,000 unionized employees starting Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET, after pushing back a Friday ultimatum....

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs krop. loved it

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Signed the petition. Enjoyed the humour.

Last October, my firend and I got into a heated discussion with a group of young men, mostly investment traders and up and coming banker types, over the relevance of Canada Post as a public good. It was depressing. The gist of their viewpoint was that since only their grandmothers bothered to actually use the mail service, there was no need for it to be a tax payer funded operation.

Unionist

laine lowe wrote:

The gist of their viewpoint was that since only their grandmothers bothered to actually use the mail service, there was no need for it to be a tax payer funded operation.

It's not a taxpayer funded operation.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

The gist of their viewpoint was that since only their grandmothers bothered to actually use the mail service, there was no need for it to be a tax payer funded operation.

It's not a taxpayer funded operation.

It certainly does highlight the fact that our up and coming capitalists have ideology without any facts.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canada Post Issues 72-Hour Notice – Again!

Saturday July 9 2016

On July 7, 2016 Canada Post served the Union with a second 72- hour notice of lockout. This notice takes effect as of 12:01 am on Monday, July 11, 2016. CPC claims that they want to negotiate but they refuse to move on our key issues. Will CPC continue to issue 72-hour notices? In locations across the country, CPC has begun the process of reducing Group 1 part-time schedules to the bare minimum hours and swipe or access cards are being deactivated. What will happen on Monday? Only time will tell...

mark_alfred

Is this notice different from the first issue (IE, does it have a later deadline)?  Or is it a reissue with the same deadline?  If the former, then seems Canada Post just blinked.

abnormal

Unionist wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

The gist of their viewpoint was that since only their grandmothers bothered to actually use the mail service, there was no need for it to be a tax payer funded operation.

It's not a taxpayer funded operation.

True - but I do have a question.  If we separate letter delivery from parcel post are they both self-sustataining?  Or is the parcel delivery operation subsidizing letter delivery.  

Have to admit that the only snail mail I've received for years is a couple of bills that I've been too lazy to convert to email.  With the threat of a lockout I've taken care of that.

 

mark_alfred

Might be a good idea, yet I'm suddenly reminded of this Simpsons episode:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boAWFriUsMo

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

True - but I do have a question.  If we separate letter delivery from parcel post are they both self-sustataining?  Or is the parcel delivery operation subsidizing letter delivery.  

I have only general impressions rather than a clear answer to that, but I think you'll find [url=https://www.canadapost.ca/assets/pdf/aboutus/financialreports/2015_ar_ov... overview[/url] helpful in that regard - not sure if it will directly answer that question though.

Everyone knows parcels are up and letters are down. Canadians have some history and tradition of using crown corporations to provide less-profitable but socially necessary service, by leveraging the more profitable parts of the business - best seen in the case of transportation companies required to maintain remote or rural routes. Privatization tends to remove that public policy option.

There's a place for letter mail, though obviously declining. But I've always thought that the inconvenience of having to go buy stamps, go buy envelopes, and go find a mailbox should really not have to stand in the way of sending a letter or card or even paying a bill by mail (I don't, some do).

That's why some creative person with imagination (that's not me) should design a new model. Why should letter carrying be unidirectional? Why can't letter carriers also:

1. Pick up your outbound mail (from a secure box at your home) while delivering your incoming mail?

2. And at the same time, deliver stamps, envelopes, stationery, etc., which you order by internet or phone?

It might be prohibitively expensive. It might be dumb, it might be brilliant. I'm not sure whether the union has ever looked into it (as they obviously have done in the case of postal banking). Maybe they should.

End of rant.

In the meantime, we should rally behind the workers here. Their cause is just (opposing weakening of pension plans, screwing the next generation of workers, and pay equity for predominantly female rural workers), and it reaches far beyond the confines of the post office.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I could certainly see posties picking up outbound mail.  If I'm not mistaken, that was the norm on old rural routes, and the little "flag" on old rural mailboxes was to alert a postie that there was mail to be sent, so they would stop even if there was none to be delivered.

As for posties delivering stamps and other stuff, that could work too, so long as it was paid for over the internet or by phone.  I would imagine some of them might not want to have to carry cash, for security reasons.

All that said, to be honest I'm not convinced that Canadians want to send enough letters that this service would really fill in any revenue gaps.  When was the last time you -- I'm asking anyone here -- received a handwritten letter from someone?  Ten bucks says that if you can even remember, it was from your Grandma.  It's just something people really don't do anymore, like "have a pager" or "use carbon paper".

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..in great britain the posties deliver flowers. at least the used to. this can be expand to include a lot of things. i read some stuff a while back that postal stations can become communication hubs. for instance postal stations could have cell phone towers that would create the largest network around. i have also heard a bit about the internet and postal stations. 

..the city of penticton was once part of a fiber optics project. for $150,000 the city was provided with their own telephone and internet system. city hall was connected to this system of course, but so were all the schools and possibly other facilities. the system had the capability of serving the whole community of about 35 - 36,000 but wasn't for political reasons. this could maybe work via the postal station.   

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
..in great britain the posties deliver flowers. at least the used to. this can be expand to include a lot of things.

Well, technically it already does.  Other than, say, fireworks and aerosol containers, what CAN'T you have delivered by mail?

I just continue to wonder whether there's really some un(der)served segment of the market that CPC can just fill to make up for their losses.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I just continue to wonder whether there's really some un(der)served segment of the market that CPC can just fill to make up for their losses.

That was a typo, right? Canada Post has turned a profit in 20 of the past 22 years. Not a terrible record for a service which gets compared to pagers and carbon paper. Its last year of losses was 2011, caused by its lockout of workers which drove away business. I'll bet I know how they could have turned a profit that year too...

Or do you think it needs to make a "profit" on every individual transaction?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

I just continue to wonder whether there's really some un(der)served segment of the market that CPC can just fill to make up for their losses.

..i believe we need to be more strategic about the post office. remember the government wants to sell it off. and sooner or later it will if something in that equation doesn't change. canadians aren't well served by corporations. they are gouged and the corporations always attacking their workers. not to mention pushing for things like trade deals. the post office is an asset and offers us posibilities for a differnt approach.  

JohnInAlberta JohnInAlberta's picture

This is a tough situation for the CUPW & its members.  Anecdotally I always use Canada Post: I'm pro-union all the way, but (shudder) Lorne Gunter has a decent point in his latest column:

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/07/09/the-ground-has-shifted-for-canada-...

(It's very unpleasant to acknowledge Mr. Gunter in any manner, BTW).  

There's alternatives out there, even unionized ones: UPS Canada is represented by Teamsters Canada.  I won't use FedEx while any work stoppage takes place (they have extremely limited union representation) but even a left-leaning pro-union person such as myself can rest easy with UPS.  A work stoppage at Canada Post would be catastrophic, IMHO, and I'm very pleased that despite some close-calls it hasn't happened yet.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That was a typo, right?

No... I wasn't suggesting that they're operating "at a loss", I was referring to lettermail only.  There seems to be some basic agreement that lettermail is way down, and I thought we were discussing things CPC might do to cover that.

Quote:
Not a terrible record for a service which gets compared to pagers and carbon paper.

I didn't compare CPC service, or mail delivery, to pagers and carbon paper.  I compared people getting out a sheet of stationery and writing a letter with a pen to pagers and carbon paper.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

From the FB page of one of my postie buddies. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Negotiations or Arbitration?

The Union continues to be opposed to interest arbitration. As mentioned in previous bulletins, the Union fought against the unfair and unconstitutional legislation that took away our right to free negotiations in 2011 and we won. Why would we give up that right?

Arbitration is a Long Process

It is important to understand just how long and time consuming the arbitration process can be. Here are some examples of national arbitrations:

On October 3, 2007 the Corporation announced its Postal Transformation Initiative. The interest arbitration process under Article 29 started in 2010. There was a decision on May 30, 2013 dealing with Group 1 issues. However, the process is still continuing to address the adverse effects impacting Group 2 members.

On September 7, 2010 the Union filed a national policy grievance (N00-07-00032) on three issues: the two-bundle delivery method, access to information during restructures and routes being restructured in violation of the Letter Carrier Route Measurement System. It is now 2016 and not one of these three issues has been resolved.

As you can see from these examples, the arbitration process can drag on for a very long time. In these grievances, the arbitrator was only dealing with a small number of issues and the cases are still active after 5 or 6 years. Imagine the complexities involved in arbitrating two entire collective agreements.

We have had experience with interest arbitration in past rounds of negotiations. In 1997, the arbitration in front of Justice Richard lasted 2 years and no decision was ever issued.

On October 17, 1987 the government imposed back-to-work legislation and appointed Justice Laurent Cossette as a mediator/arbitrator. A decision was issued in June 1988. This process only dealt with a few Group 1 issues and yet lasted 10 months. With so many issues outstanding between the parties, imagine how long the process could last this round.

On July 28, 2010 Arbitrator Brian Keller was appointed to resolve issues in the final RSMC reopener. This process was not overly complex and yet lasted 15 months....

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..remember the cupw campaign a couple years back on gathering community support?  here's a result and i was very surprised by the size of this list. quebec is a big fan of postal banking.

Municipalities and related bodies that have passed resolutions in support of postal banking

Abernethy      SK                            

Acton Vale QC

Admaston/Bromley Township ON

Aguanish QC...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I think the real deal breaker on the arbitration proposal is the Corp wants binding arbitration. If it was non-binding they likely would go into the process.

The worst case of binding arbitration that I know of was in 2003 when the the BC Ferry and Marine Workers were forced to either take Vince Ready as a demi-god or have a collective agreement imposed by legislature. He is still inserted in the contract over certain issues after over 12 years. He decimated the union including allowing the Ferry Corp to deunionize most of the Engineers. In a case of unintended consequences many of the Engineers that were forced into management either retired or found new jobs in the marine industry. Many of the sailing problems since then have been delays because they don't have enough Engineers to call in when one can't make it to work on short notice.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Big banks can lobby all they want but postal banking is still on the table: union

While pay equity and pensions have grabbed headlines during the current round of bargaining with Canada Post, postal workers say there are other matters on the table, including bringing back postal banking, an idea which has just been rejected by the big bank lobby.

“We’re not surprised that the big banks, which raked in a $35 billion profit last year by gouging Canadians with some of the highest fees in the world, would oppose a public banking option,” said Mike Palecek, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Aside from making postal banking a bargaining demand, the CUPW, together with the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA), has been actively campaigning for the return of the Canadian postal bank as a way to shore up revenues and offer new public services.

“Post offices have worked and could work very well as banks. We are already processing other financial transactions such as money orders,” said Palecek.

“If Loblaws and Canadian Tire are doing it, why shouldn’t Canada Post? We are everywhere in the country.”

abnormal

Unionist wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I just continue to wonder whether there's really some un(der)served segment of the market that CPC can just fill to make up for their losses.

That was a typo, right? Canada Post has turned a profit in 20 of the past 22 years.

That's "sort of" correct - if you disregard the pension fund. Last time I looked it was underfunded by $6.1 billion.  While I'll be the first to admit that pension accounting gives me a headache it's tough to argue that any company is making a profit when it isn't contributing adequate sums to its pension plan.

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

That's "sort of" correct - if you disregard the pension fund. Last time I looked it was underfunded by $6.1 billion.  While I'll be the first to admit that pension accounting gives me a headache it's tough to argue that any company is making a profit when it isn't contributing adequate sums to its pension plan.

We have laws in this country to deal with pension "underfunding". Actuarial evaluations must be done at least every three years. Solvency deficits (which only really matter if a company goes belly up or winds up its pension plan) must be amortized over 5 years, and "going concern" deficits over 15 years, through annual payments.

So, Canada Post (like many many other employers) makes those annual payments as and when required by law - and yeah, they still turn a profit almost every year (except when they attack workers and shoot themselves in the foot, like 2011).

And... they have no trouble paying all the monthly pension benefits for all retirees.

And... if and when interest rates rise modestly (as they inevitably will), that humongous sounding deficit will erase itself, no more annual payments required, and they will likely be back to taking contribution holidays.

So back to business. Canada Post is profitable. And there's nothing on the horizon that will change that. Except corporate stupidity and governmental neoliberalism. But those are treatable. Surgically.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Selected Messages of Support

Negotiations

Hamilton Mountain NDP Federal and Provincial Riding Association Sunday July 10 2016  

Teaching Staff Support Union at Simon Fraser University Friday July 8 2016

The TSSU Executive stands in solidarity with CUPW members who are facing lockout by an intransigent employer.

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 891 Friday July 8 2016  

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Friday July 8 2016....

...

Pay Equity

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women Friday July 8 2016

Judy Rebick, Writer, activist, author Occupy This! Friday July 8 2016

Canadian Labour Congress Thursday July 7 2016

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada Tuesday June 28 2016....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Why Is Canada Post Hiding The Huge Surplus In The Pension Plan?

CPC spokespeople are always talking about the deficit in the Canada Post Pension Plan. But they never mention that the plan also has a huge surplus. And while the surplus is growing, the deficit is decreasing.

The Facts CPC Never Mentions

Here are some of the facts you will find in the 2015 Canada Post Pension Plan Report to Members:

  •  In 2015 the going concern surplus increased to $1.2 Billion from $500 million.
    (See page 2 of the Report.)
  • The actual pension surplus for 2015 was $2.7 Billion. (page 18)
  • The solvency deficit was reduced from $6.8 Billion to $6.1 Billion. (page 17)
  • The solvency deficit (market value) was reduced from $6.8 Billion to $5.9 Billion.
    (page 17)

Solvency only triggered by Plan Termination

The solvency deficit only comes into play if a pension plan is terminated. Since the federal government has ruled out privatization from the mandate of the Review Committee, there is no reason to believe the plan will be terminated. Solvency deficits are caused by low long term interest rates. Should (or when) interest rates go up by only 1%, the solvency issue will disappear entirely (see page 20).

This is why CUPW and all of the other postal unions do not believe there is any reason to change the pension plan especially given that it is running a $2.7 Billion surplus....

Unionist

Thanks, epaulo! I was just answering abnormal in generalities, without digging up the numbers. I didn't even realize that they had a going-concern surplus!

It's very disappointing to see corporate propaganda ("The pension sky is falling!!") repeated here. But it does afford a golden opportunity to refute it. Appreciate you stepping up!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..no biggie unionist. i came across the piece a few days ago but didn't post it. happy to have remembered it today.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A Postal Service for the 21st Century

“It used to be almost every postal worker would walk their route,” says Tony Rogers, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Nova Local. “Postal workers would hop on a bus and make their deliveries. The lowest carbon footprint possible.”

Now all but seven out of 200 routes in metro Halifax are entirely motorized, and this day and age that is just plain wrong, Rogers says.

Rogers spoke at a well-attended event in Halifax that set out to explore how to make Canada Post more socially responsible, greener, and accountable to the citizens who own it.

The event is part of the Delivering Community Power roadshow spearheaded by the Friends of Public Services. The group wants to mobilize public opinion while a federal task force readies itself to hold a public review and make recommendations on the future of Canada Post.

quote:

The postal banking proposals have emphasized the need to counteract the destructive monopolies of payday lenders in many neighborhoods, but there is more to postal banking, the Friends of Public Services argue.

Postal banks could offer affordable loans to boost renewable energy development and act as a mechanism to keep the big banks (slightly) more honest.

And many communities are lacking banks, with indigenous communities in particular hit hard. Only 54 of 614 First Nations communities are served by a local bank.

Community elder care, food distribution in Canada’s North, and local food delivery everywhere are other ways to leverage the Canada Post infrastructure, the Friends of Public Services suggest.

The event in Halifax will likely come to a community near you, if it hasn’t already, says Jay.

“I started in Thunder Bay, made my way across the Prairies and BC, now three stops in the Maritimes, and then Quebec and Ontario to follow,” he says.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Parties Work On Outstanding Issues

Saturday July 16 2016

We are continuing to meet with Canada Post to attempt to resolve the outstanding issues. We are reviewing those that are close to being resolved and the major ones that must be addressed.

Priority Issues

During the next week, we are determined to make substantial progress on some of our major demands. We must deal with Group 1 staffing, RSMC hours of work and pay for all hours worked, one bundle delivery for letter carriers and wages for Groups 3 & 4. These are just a few of the important issues that we must resolve.

Today’s Update

Today we met with CPC and reviewed the status of the negotiations. We agreed on the issues that were resolved and discussed a plan to resolve issues that are close to being settled. We also discussed our plan for the coming week and each side put forward their key issues for discussions....

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