By September 9, 2016

Postal Workers Stop Management Attacks

cupwwinThe postal workers union (CUPW) has won tentative agreements for both the urban, and rural and suburban mail carrier (RSMC) bargaining units. The agreement does not concede to management attacks and prevents major rollbacks, especially of pensions for newly hired workers. CUPW is seeking to preserve past gains and win improvements, especially for the RSMC workers who are 70% female, and have lower pay rates.

With a government appointed mediator, the union and management reached a short-term collective deal of only two years. No doubt, management wanted to preserve the business and prevent the loss of customers and revenue, especially with the busy fall and holiday season approaching. However, bargaining will start again next year.

One hopeful part of the agreement is that the low pay of the mainly women RSMCs will be reviewed by a third party over the next 13 months.

Pensions will likely to be under attack again in the next round of bargaining. Management uses the solvency test on the pension fund, which makes little sense for a profitable crown corporation, showing that privatization is probably on management’s agenda.

With many unresolved issues, this agreement delays the battle until the union is in a stronger position. CUPW hopes that the federal government’s postal review, to be completed by April 2017, will include the preservation of home door-to-door delivery, the possibility of postal banking and other service expansion. Hopefully, the Harper-appointed Chief executive, Deepak Chopra, on a base salary of $500,000, will be removed or resigns. CUPW over the next 2 years will prepare for possible future battles and buildup the union defense fund.

The fight is far from over. This is only a momentary truce declared to prepare for even greater challenges.