On the evening of October 16, 40 people demonstrated outside the Dieppe Canada Post mailing process plant to protest mail leaving New Brunswick for sorting in Nova Scotia. The demonstration was organized by the Moncton Labour Council and the New Brunswick Federation of Labour and saw participation from the Canadian Labour Congres, local unions and other community allies who oppose the cuts at Canada Post.
The demonstration was a show of solidarity both with the workers who may lose their jobs in Moncton but also with those community members who will be affected by the cuts. Keeping jobs in New Brunswick is important to everyone. This change will not only affect the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) members in Moncton, but also Saint John, Fredericton, Edmundston and Woodstock. These changes affect everyone in New Brunswick.
The protest outside the Dieppe processing plant was carried out by allies of CUPW to show union strength and solidarity as well as to ensure that no reprisals were taken against CUPW members. The aim was to slow down the mail being delivered out of the province, so Canada Post trucks were being blocked. This type of community picket can be an effective disruption of the workplace that doesn’t require members of the CUPW to violate their collective agreement. More of these type of actions could be a way to build community and union power while sending a message to the government and Canada Post that they can’t make these cuts without a fight.
The demonstration was also about stopping Canada Post’s plan to end door-to-door delivery in Canada. On october 20 Bathurst was the first city in New Brunswick to lose there door-to-door delivery. These cuts are unacceptable for our communities in New Brunswick and actions like this try to link the loss of jobs with the loss of services in our communities.
CUPW is very thankful for the support of our local union activists and all the concerned citizens for there support in our fight to keep Canada Post a public service. The demonstration was a huge success. The people of New Brunswick want jobs to stay in New Brunswick. Every change Canada Post makes has an adverse affect on the communities in our province. If we all work together and support one another we can make a difference. Canada Post certainly sat up and paid attention.
Patrick Colford is the president of the NB Federation of Labour.
This story was originally published by Rank and File.