APWU Statement in Support of Canadian Postal Workers
For 37 days, members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) engaged in militant rotating strikes in the struggle for a new union contract. Canadian postal workers were forced into strike action by the refusal of Canada Post to address the just and urgent demands of the workers, including addressing dangerous work conditions and high injury rates, unequal pay for rural workers, and massive hours of forced overtime.
Yesterday, Nov. 27, the Canadian government, through legislative action, forced Canadian postal workers back to work and into binding mediation and arbitration.
The American Postal Workers Union both applauds the struggle of the Canadian postal workers and our sister union CUPW, and condemns the outrageous act of the Liberal Canadian government – a government that claims to be on the side of working people. This unconstitutional government action strips workers of their legal right to strike under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and tilts ongoing collective bargaining in management’s favor.
CUPW National President Mike Palecek declared, “Postal Workers are rightfully dismayed and outraged…You cannot legislate labour peace. We are now moving to a different phase of the struggle.”
As the struggle continues, the CUPW is keeping all options open, including switching to a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience and other tactics to press their contract demands.
“‘An Injury to One is an Injury to All.’ Their fight is our fight,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “The APWU salutes the unity and determination of our Canadian sisters and brothers and we have full confidence that the workers, led by the CUPW, will overcome these new obstacles and prevail in their just struggle. We stand in unbreakable union solidarity with Canada’s postal workers.”