I take Canadian elections seriously and vote but am not into politics. However I am a heavy mail user. Mail means a lot to me and members of my family. Last month I had to know precisely when it would resume! I found out about channel CPAC, where I could watch parliament debate the lock-out for myself. After reading on-line comments as vehement as they were poorly informed, it is clear more should have watched it.
When you thoroughly hear what someone has to say – for 53 hours in fact – you understand. I noticed impasses, opportunities to move on, interpretations missing the boat. If this were about increasing a salary, I would go “come on”! Here’s what needed clarity. Canada Post employees rejected a lower starting rate for new staff. They don’t want future peers working next to a set of people, exempt from the same wage caps. It’s typical for an outsider to senselessly rant about money: “go to work you bumbs”, “be glad about any wage you can get”, or “don’t be greedy”.
Postal workers wish to safeguard retirement funds. One style is vulnerable to fluctuation with the times. Since the bottom dropped out of the economy about 3 years ago, many retire from gruelling work with less money than they put in. The other style of retirement savings is fixed or locked; you get it no matter how the economy goes. Contributions are the same in either case. I’m no financier but it avoids a stock market gamble and you can plan with a concrete sum.
What no one ought to begrudge is safety. Postwomen / postmen were stereotyped as easy gigs in years gone by. Staff has been cut. It can take 10 hours for a worker to finish their share. Routes grew per person and of course pre-sorting. The type of mail to sort, carry, and deliver changed but society uses it. Unless this is the Star Trek universe, a Christmas gift can’t “beam into” a house via internet! Envelopes still circulate for many of us who enjoy letters and parcels increased. I shop on-line. The product has to arrive somehow. Canada Post built machines to suit this genre and volume. However I hear the safety of these machines, not just injury from heavy routes, is a concern.
I admit I thought: “just get the mail going”! After 8 months of stagnancy, workers did “a rotating strike”: one city inconvenienced for one day. The Canada Post corporation locked them out. That is what shut down production. It trapped mail in limbo, already paid for by customers! CEO Mr. Chopra didn’t delegate delivery to anyone else and customers couldn’t pick-up. Mr. Chopra withheld our property! I see why the Canadian government felt the stalement needed intervention. Negotiations ceased… as well as the public service.
The conservative government ordered a fine if employees didn’t return to work, under whatever terms given. I’m relieved mail is flowing but don’t see why it wasn’t ordered the other way. The New Democrats rallied to have the CEO unlock the doors and go on negotiating their workplace without affecting Canadians.