Canadian postal workers who have initiated strike action are receiving public letters of support from the working class. Anonymous letters are being pasted to postal relay boxes across the country that read, “Dear Posties, Keep up the fight. Don’t back down. Sincerely, The Working Class.”
Ruth Breen, a Fredericton postal worker, came across a couple of these postal boxes today on her route in Fredericton. She says, “It can be very difficult to maintain courage when you realize you will have to be part of a collective fight back against corporate greed and go on strike for decent working conditions and collective agreement rights entrenched for over 40 years! But today I felt the strength of many when I came to two of my relay boxes and found these notes of support. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The struggle continues and it is small gestures like these that hold us up.”
Mike Palecek, the recording secretary for the Vancouver local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), writes in Fightback, “In response to demands of unprecedented concessions at the bargaining table, members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers handed Canada Post their strongest strike mandate in history. 94.5% voted in favour of strike action. It was the largest turnout in the history of the union. Postal workers are not bluffing.”
CUPW has a long tradition of militant union action and gains won not only for themselves but for the entire working class. Thirty years ago, in 1981, CUPW won maternity leave rights for its members after a 42 day strike; this win set the stage for the national maternity/parental leave program through Employment Insurance.
Tonight, June 1st at 11:59 pm EST, the Winnipeg local will be the first postal workers to legally strike in more than thirteen years.