Strike Vote Q&A’s

The strike votes in the Vancouver Local are scheduled to occur from June 8, 2016, to June 15, 2016. You can see the times, dates, and locations on the bottom of this bulletin.

Strike vote questions

Strike vote answers

A strike vote means we are going to go on strike.

Not necessarily. In CUPW’s long history, there have been times when a high strike vote resulted in a settlement and other times where a strike vote has resulted in a strike.

A strike vote authorizes the CUPW National Executive Board to take action if bargaining breaks down. But, it also authorizes the CUPW National Executive Board to take other collective actions such as a work-to-rule campaign or an overtime-ban.

It doesn’t matter if I go to the strike vote meeting.

This is not the case. A high turnout at a strike vote meeting sends a strong message to Canada Post that we will not accept rollbacks. Your attendance at the strike vote is important in sending that message.

Going on strike worries me—I have to pay for housing, food, and have many other expenses.

There is no question that going on strike is hard. But, living with Canada Post’s rollbacks is even harder. If we are forced to go on strike, it is to preserve our jobs and our future.

I’d rather take the rollbacks than go on strike.

This is a very bad idea. Taking the rollbacks means:

  • You will not have a secure retirement
  • Your job will be a lot more difficult to perform
  • You will have less time to spend with your friends and family
  • The grievance procedure will be weakened and this means Canada Post will have more power over you
  • If you have less than 10 years continuous service, you will have less job security
  • There will be fewer people to do the work
  • You will have less access to much needed benefits like physiotherapy
  • The work floor will be more stressful
  • The temporary workers you work beside will have less rights

What is the use of going on strike? The Government will just order us back to work.

Not necessarily. There have been a number of recent court decisions which puts severe limits on the Government’s ability to order us back to work. The most recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court about the back to work legislation in the CUPW 2011 strike lock out illustrates this. The decision said that the back to work legislation was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canada Post can fire and suspend us for striking.

No. The Canada Labour Code explicitly gives workers the right to strike, and protects workers from being suspended or fired for striking.

I am a temporary worker. Canada Post can stop giving me assignments if I participate in a strike.

No. The provisions of the Canada Labour Code protect all workers—this includes temporary workers.

Striking has never gotten us anywhere.

This is absolutely not true. In 1981, the CUPW strike resulted in paid maternity leave. Other gains from strikes include:

  • More vacation leave
  • Limits on the number of part-time positions in group one
  • Preserving the letter carrier route measurement system and preventing Canada Post from making unilateral changes to this system
  • Protecting your Canada Post Defined Benefit pension plan
  • Guaranteed minimum hours for part-time workers
  • Expanded bereavement leave

And much more. Many of the rights we have today were gained because people went on strike.

So all I need to do is go to the strike vote?

No!!! During bargaining, Canada Post asks Supervisors and Managers for regular reports on how postal workers are feeling about bargaining, what issues they are concerned with, and what actions are taking place to support bargaining. The reports Canada Post gets about workfloor actions, comments, and meetings, gives more power and strength to the CUPW bargaining committees.

The bottom line is clear—Come to the strike vote meetings!!!

In solidarity,

Heather Andrews
Vancouver local of CUPW




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

North Shore Winter Club
1325 E. Keith Road
North Vancouver

7 P.M.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Maritime Labour Centre
1880 Triumph St

5 P.M.
7 P.M.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Metrotown Hilton
6083 McKay Ave.

11 A.M.
1 P.M.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pacific Gateway Hotel
3500 Cessna Drive

8:30 A.M.

10:30 A.M.

1:30 P.M.
5 P.M.
7 P.M.

** The doors will be tiled (locked) fifteen (15) minutes into the meetings.