By the time you read this bulletin, the Union and the employer will be hours away from invoking their right to strike or lock-out. The Union has done everything humanly possible to persuade the employer that they have to drop their unacceptable concession demands and bring forward a proposal that could form the basis of a settlement.
Unfortunately, they have chosen to ignore the Union’s negotiators and are trying to convince you to accept their last insulting offer by sending it directly to your home in an Xpresspost envelope. At this point, it appears evident that we will need to use the 94% strike mandate given by the membership in order to push the employer off their agenda of implementing a cheap labour strategy.
STRIKE CALL: The Union could decide to invoke the strike mandate as early as 12.01 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25th. The National Executive Board will determine what type of strategy is most suitable and advise the Locals accordingly. You will be contacted by your picket captain once Winnipeg members are asked to join the strike. If you are a temporary employee and don’t know who your picket captain is, please contact the Union office at 942-6323 or the Strike Headquarters numbers listed below.
PICKET HOURS & LOCATIONS: For the first day of the strike, all members are asked to picket their own workplace for their regular scheduled work shift. Following the first day, all members are expected to contribute 4 hours of duty per picket shift at a time and location determined by the Strike Committee once we see what type of operation the employer attempts to run. We recognize that there are many members with varying limitations and we fully intend to use the strength of our members with all of the diversity that exists within our ranks. No matter what your situation, we will find a way to have you participate and contribute to the success of our strike. If you have medical limitations, please report to the Strike Headquarters for appropriate instructions.
STRIKE HEADQUARTERS: The Union has acquired space for our Strike Headquarters at 2A – 1717 DUBLIN AVENUE. Phone numbers there will be 632-0632 or 632-1714. We will also be maintaining our Local Office operation during the strike as well. Our Local office is located at 204-171 Donald Street.
STUFF WE NEED: The Local is asking for donations to furnish the Strike Headquarters. We need things such as a fridge, tables, chairs, couch, futon, entertainment items for children (such as a TV, DVD player, VHS player, games), card, crib boards and anything else you think might make the place more enjoyable.
PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES: All members will be responsible to ensure that they are signed in for their shift in order to process strike pay. No one is to report for any strike related duty under the influence of alcohol or uncontrolled substances. Under no circumstances are any types of weapons to be brought to the picket line.
SOMETHING FOR THE MORE ADVENTUROUS: Sometimes we learn about new developments that require just an extra bit of energy and enthusiasm and a fast response. Common sense dictates we not say too much about it here. If you like living life on the more “Wild Side”, let your picket captain know and they will refer you to some really fun people.
STRIKE COMMUNICATIONS: During the Strike, we will be using a number of different forms of communication to keep you informed. WPGINFO is our electronic mass distribution system using e-mail and text messaging. If you haven’t signed up yet, please call the Union office or let your picket captain know. You can also get information on the National Union website at www.cupw-sttp.org,
through the Winnipeg Local website at http://cupwwpg.ca/
or at our Blog site http://theworkerstrugglewiththemodernpost.blogspot.com
HELPING THOSE THAT DEPEND ON US: Once again, CUPW has made a commitment to deliver socio-economic cheques for those that rely on the postal system for their existence. An agreement has been reached with the employer for CUPW volunteers to deliver Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Child Benefits cheques in the event of a strike. Volunteers selected will be paid a modest honorarium and we are asking our members to donate those monies to a worthwhile cause or charity. We can always use funds to help finance our annual children’s Christmas party!
MOST IMPORTANTLY: For the vast majority of our members, this will be their first strike and it may feel a little scary and overwhelming. We understand that but want to assure you that you will be part of an action that you will never forget and will forge solidarity with Sisters & Brothers that can never be broken. At the same time, our newer and younger members will bring energy and creativity that will breathe new life into the Union. Make this struggle a powerful and positive experience – you’re on the side of social and economic justice.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers