Monday, June 27, 2011
Back to work for the Postal Workers
It's a sad day for Canadian postal workers and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. It's a frightening day for all Canadians.
Our Conservative Government it reads in the mainstream media has legislated postal workers back to work. Legislated is correct but it feels more like sledgehammered back to work.
For the record and to say it again - it was Canada Post that brought our post office to a halt with the lock out. Yes the employer locked out the workers preventing them from working. True the post office employees had been engaging in rotating strikes prior to the lock out.
Rotating strikes or temporary work stoppages to put it another way are not a strike. Legislation back to work normally follows a strike, at least it does in Canada. The crippling fines for ignoring back to work legislation can kill a union and it would undoubtedly kill the CUPW.
The really upsetting thing in all of this is that the Tories legislated the post workers back to work following a lock out by Canada Post and not a strike. The management of Canada Post, a federal workforce means that the Government is the boss. So let's get it right for what it is - Canada Post locked out the workers and then the Government forced them back to work, and enforced back to work terms and conditions worse than Canada Post's final offer in negotiations with CUPW.
The new collective agreement would last three years should the CUPW sign up to it.
As for a general strike to support the CUPW - ain't going to happen. Summer is coming and all those music festivals, baseball, football to keep us Canadians busy. Yeah it's apathy again that allows Harper and the conservatives to do their worst. Greater organization and cooperation on the left is the only thing that is going to stop the Tories.
A general strike in the traditional sense is probably not something that can easily be done. The laws in this country as detailed above stifle that possibility. As it stands the postal workers have no option but to go back to work. A solution can only come from the workers in this country when they take a principled stand against the Tories. What will that look like?