MSC/Transportation Update - September 22 2016

As you are no doubt aware, Canada Post has nearly completed its campaign to streamline its operations and cut jobs, otherwise known as Postal Transformation (PT). It is understood, that any new initiative or overhauling of an organisation’s previous system comes with a whole new set of challenges. That being said, I think it is important to note that we do not ignore our Collective Agreement and health and safety, when embarking on these new changes. The Union met with the employer on September 21, 2016, alongside MSC representatives from the Pacific Processing Centre (PPC), to discuss issues raised by drivers in regards to working conditions, health and safety, staffing, and changes to work schedules. Below are some key points worth mentioning:

Loading and Unloading of Monotainers
The Union was informed that Canada Post has implemented the re-deployment of monotainers to the Letter Carrier Depots, despite their claim to have eliminated their usage due to IDCs for PT. This means all MSC 5 tonne schedules that service Letter Carrier Depots could be expected to load/unload monotainers onto their trucks without the assistance of stackers, otherwise known as MMHE. It may surprise you to learn that a single monotainer weighs 98 kg (217 lbs) and when stacked five (5) high, the load becomes 1085 lbs!!! Now, it is true that the non-motorized hand jacks and ergolifts present at most depots, can manage the load. However, that does not translate into you being able to push/pull the load. Compounding this issue, is the unique make-up of each location’s loading docks, some have inclines, while others have uneven surfaces. In any event, one’s ability to move such heavy loads is as unique as the make-up of the loading area at each depot. It was agreed at consultation that any concerns raised on this issue by drivers will be dealt with on a “case by case” basis and every attempt to accommodate the concerns will be carried out. Should a driver exercise their right to refuse for health and safety reasons under 33.13 of our Collective Agreement, it will not be touched by any worker until it has been investigated thoroughly. Additionally, the previous agreement to only load XX and householder monotainers half full, will continue. Should you experience issues with either scenario, please inform a shop steward or an LJOSH representative immediately.

Changes to Schedules
Recently, the Union has been in receipt of information suggesting Canada Post is unilaterally making alterations to schedules without informing the drivers or the Union in advance. It is worth noting, that changes being undertaken can vary significantly from schedule to schedule and learning to identify them is crucial. Some examples are as follows:

  • Removal of key components such as servicing a depot which affects the rest of the tour.
  • Changing arrival patterns and break times.
  • Using “as directed time” improperly.

During consultation we raised these concerns. Management has agreed to notify the drivers and the Union in advance of making changes. To allow a trained Union observer to identify which schedules have “as directed time” in order to differentiate between schedules that have defined tasks under “as directed time” and those that have “trapped time” which is totalled and is misrepresented as, “as directed time”. Should you experience any of the scenarios described, please inform a shop steward and request updated paperwork alongside the original paperwork for your schedule. Ask management to show you the changes and inquire to whether a RMO did the changes or not.

Bar Charts
Relief staffing levels are evaluated every year from September to August. Bar Charts record and determine the need to adjust these levels. Historically, Bar Chart analysis has been inconsistent in transportation. The Union raised this issue and management has agreed to review the data with a Union representative, as they should have in accordance with Article 52 of the Collective Agreement.

New Downtown Corporate Outlet
Canada Post has announced the opening of a new corporate outlet to replace the current 349 West Georgia St. outlet. The new location is situated one (1) block west of the current location. The official opening date has not been set, however, it should be open by the end of October. At this time, a 5 tonne service of 349 W. Georgia and the future service requirement is unclear. The issue is the absence of a proper loading dock at the new location and Canada Post has suggested using a truck with a power tailgate to load/unload IDC carts. The Union has objected to this proposal at this time, until a proper job study can be undertaken. Presently, the Union is not aware of any trucks equipped with power tailgates that are being used to load or offload IDC carts. Canada Post has committed to visiting the new location with the Union next week, in the hopes of finding a safe and appropriate way of servicing the location. We will keep you informed as new information comes available.

5 tonne Parking at the PPC
With the increased congestion at the PPC, drivers have been asked to park trucks, “back to back”, or in a manner that has been identified by drivers as unsafe. Reports regarding trucks bumping into one another and mirrors being taken out by trailers were raised by the Union. Canada Post agreed to investigate the concerns raised and get back to us. Should you experience any issues with the parking of trucks, please inform your shop steward or LJOSH representative immediately.

As the peak holiday season approaches, the Union will be consulting on October 19th on the overtime process, bar charts, and any staffing changes. We will keep you informed as information comes available. If there are any issues you wish to have discussed, please raise them with your shop steward and we will discuss them at the next consultation.
In Solidarity,

Chris Zukowsky
1st Vice-President