by Michael Keefe
On June 24, 2014, the Nova Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers held a rally in front of Halifax City Hall. The reason for the rally was to make the public aware that Halifax’s Mayor, Mike Savage, its Chief Administrative Officer, Richard Butts, and its Municipal Clerk’s office told Nova Local in an email on March 4 that the elimination of door-to-door delivery in the Halifax Regional Municipality was “not within the jurisdiction of the Municipality” and would not allow the Nova Local to make a presentation to Council on the issues surrounding the changes.
Halifax’s Mayor, Mike Savage, would not allow the Nova Local to make a presentation to Council on the issues surrounding Canada Post changes.
The Local also wanted to let the public and local businesses know that the only way to stop the service cuts is to make their voices heard to their elected officials at all levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal. The Union believes with enough public outcry, the cuts can be reversed.
Over 100 people attended the rally, including National CUPW President Denis Lemelin, the majority of the Atlantic Regional and Nova Local executive officers of CUPW, rank-and-file CUPW members from Nova Local, and from the Antigonish and Fundy Locals, as well as representatives from the Halifax-Dartmouth and District Labour Council, the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, the Canadian Labour Congress, UNIFOR, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and the Canadian Federation of Students. Other allies and the public were in attendance.
Speakers included Anthony Rogers, President of CUPW-Nova Local, Kyle Buott, President of the HDDLC, Rick Clarke, President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, Tony Tracy, Atlantic Regional Representative of the Canadian Labour Congress, and Peter Stoffer, NDP Member of Parliament for Sackville-Eastern Shore. A statement of support was read from Megan Leslie, NDP Member of Parliament for Halifax and NDP Deputy Leader, who could not attend because of a prior committment. The topics they covered included:
how undemocratic the decision was not to allow a presentation from the Nova Local
the impact the service cuts would have on seniors, the differently-abled and people with mobility issues
the lack of public consultation on the changes
the fact that the estimated job losses would result in approximately $4.5 million annually being taken out of the Local economy
how the announced cuts are another example of the Harper government’s continued attacks on the labour movement in Canada.
CUPW also talked about how those that have physical challenges will have to contact Canada Post to make alternate arrangements for their mail but that the Corporation is not publicizing this fact, and that they will have to pass a means test to prove they need accomodation.
the Corporation is not publicizing that they will have to pass a means test to prove they need accomodation
Local Canada Post management also revealed to Nova Local officers that out of the 9950 addresses losing door-to-door delivery in Bedford and Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, not one resident “qualified” to retain their home delivery.
People that are against the cuts should go to SaveCanadaPost.ca website and/or contact the Local CUPW office in their area for lawn signs or petitions. They should also contact all of their political representatives, from Municipal Councillors and Mayors to Premiers and Provincial politicians to Minister Responsible for Canada Post Lisa Raitt and their Members of Parliament.
Let them know what Canada Post and the Harper government is doing is unacceptable and it has to be changed. Finally, those who have significant mobility issues and can’t access a community mail box should contact Canada Post at 1-844-454-3009.
Michael Keefe has worked at Canada Post for 30 years and is 1st Vice-President of CUPW Nova Local.