Friday, March 11, 2011

CUPW organizing postal workers in pharmacies

Canada Post's "cheap labour strategy" undermines collective agreements.

Public Values

Montreal, QC (March 1, 2011): Over 2,000 Canada Post counters are now open for business in pharmacies. That number is growing as Canada Post continues to open more counters in pharmacies across the country.

That's why the union representing postal workers has been busy persuading employees working at postal counters in Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, Familiprix, and Uniprix stores to join its 55,000-strong ranks.

So far, the organizing drive has resulted in 211 employees in Montreal and Saskatoon joining the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. On February 28, CUPW's Quebec region filed an application on behalf of 25 more workers at Familiprix. If the application is successful, this will raise the number of unionized postal counters in pharmacies to 51 and counting.

"Although they handle mail and do the same work we do, the people working in these outlets earn the minimum wage and have precarious jobs," pointed out Jacques Valiquette, National Director for the Montreal region of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. "As negotiations between Canada Post and CUPW continue, we want labour standards to improve for all postal workers."

In response to the organizing drive, Canada Post and the major pharmacy chains have hired a small army of lawyers to argue that the Crown Corporation has nothing to do with employing these postal clerks. But CUPW vows to keep on signing them up.

"Organizing is a win-win situation," said Valiquette. "Postal workers at these counters will be able to make improvements in their working lives and Canada Post will not be able to use a cheap labour strategy to undermine our collective agreements."

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