As postal workers walked picket lines in the Edmonton and Calgary areas today (Wednesday), Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) president Gil McGowan said Albertans should support the fight for a better postal service and safe working conditions.
“Alberta communities deserve a good public postal service, one that meets their needs, but Canada Post seems intent on cutting services and lowering standards,” says McGowan, president of the AFL, which represents 145,000 workers.
“The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has made great proposals to take Canada Post profits and invest them in better service, but these have been rejected by the employer. CUPW has also proposed ways to increase profits, such as offering banking services like post offices in many countries around the world, but these ideas have also been dismissed,” says McGowan.
“In this dispute, it is the union that is fighting for a better Canada Post, while management appears to be interested only in cutting services and slashing pay and benefits to boost the bottom line. Canada Post has made $1.7 billion in profit in 15 years, thanks in large part to the efforts and efficiency postal workers. Those profits should be invested in improving services and working conditions.”
McGowan also defended the postal workers’ bid to improve workplace safety. “Independent research has shown that postal workers endure disabling injuries at 3.5 times the average rate for other workers. New workplace methods introduced by Canada Post are making the situation even worse. Albertans understand that workers should be protected and that employers have a responsibility to make workplaces safe.”
The AFL president also said Albertans believe in fairness and that Canada Post proposals to create a two-tiered wage and benefits package that punishes newly hired workers is unacceptable.
“CUPW is fighting for young workers today and for the workers of the future. It is also fighting for the future of all our communities. It has the full support of the members of the AFL.”
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Gil McGowan, AFL president, will be on the picket lines in Calgary and Edmonton today. For information, call him at780-218-9888.