August 11, 2009
CUPW Modern Post
June 17- 19, 2009
Sisters and Brothers:
17-19 2009, CUPW national hosted an International Modern Post
Conference. This was the first conference of its kind. The
conference brought together front line postal workers from
Belgium, France, Norway, Australia, Britain, Korea, and the
United States. Each of the representatives spoke about the
effects of large-scale technological change on their workforce.
Each of the representatives had challenges that were unique to
there specific situation. For example, the Belgian Postal
Workers spoke about delivering letter mail on bicycles. Other
representatives spoke about the substantial increase for time
that letter carriers are now spending on the street and the
projected increase in the injury rate of letter carriers as a
result. We learned and had lengthy discussions about:
Job loss by all groups of plant workers P04’s and
more night work, the increase in heavy work
less rotation of work
In addition, the reductions of maintenance work on
90% of letter mail will be sequenced
Flats and residential letters will be sorted to the case
Unaddressed ad mail will be pre- collated
80% of letter carrier routes will be motorized with foot routes
remaining in the business core.
The letter carriers will be delivering large parcels, doing
customer pickups and collections
which is work currently being done by
MSC’s will continue to do business core parcels.
the unique challenges that each of the representatives spoke
about one challenge appeared to be constant worldwide. The
sequencing of mail resulted in unprecedented job loss and over
burdening on the remaining workers. As we are all aware, Canada
Post is about to spend billions of dollars on new technology.
The overall objective is to sequence the mail and replace the
workforce with machines.
It is important
to recognize that CUPW is not opposed to new technology however;
we believe that new technology should aid workers and never
replace workers. As we move towards contract negotiation in
2011 it is clear that the postal transformation will to some
degree be on the negotiation table. As postal workers, we
must remain vigilant and keep one eye on our Union boards
the other eye on the CUPW websites and an ear with our shop
stewards. We will all have a role to play going forward.
It is important
to note that CUPW has been successful in stopping deregulation
and privatization by lobbying the government along with
community groups. Other Postal Unions worldwide have also
done similar campaigns; we are one of the most successful Unions
in taking on this fight. We along with our workers support
believe that we will also be successful in negotiating with the
boss when the new machines are installed to ensure that the
health and safety of our workers are maintained.
On behalf of the
Toronto Local, we would like to thank Brother Lemelin, the NEB
and everyone who worked so hard to put the conference together.
Chief Shop Steward MSC
3rd Vice President