Without having access to actual numbers or the contracts offered or specific positions on anything, this is what I’ve learned so far:1. The most vocal people in this conversation
- are people who equate the words “strike” and “union” with “greed”, “laziness”, “overpaid” and “communist”.
- have no idea that this is a “lockout” not a “strike” and have no idea what the difference is.
2. Canada Post has recorded large profits every year for the last 16 years in spite of a declining need for it’s service. The CEO has made 4% more/year since the last agreement.
3. Workers want 3% more/hr, Canada Post wants to pay them 1.9% more/hour.
4. Unable to agree the workers went on a rotating strike. (a small slow down of operations)
5. Canada Post then cancelled its employees’ long-term disability and medical/drug insurance.
6. CUPW offered to stop the rotating strikes, if Canada Post was willing to keep coverage, such as health, etc, at January 2011 levels - Canada Post refused.
7. Canada Post bosses then “locked out” or force the employees to stay home and not work at all.
8. Conservative Party says this is an essential service and are making legislation to force the employees back to work and they must take 1.5%more/hour only, less than either side actually offered, or they can pay $1000/day fines for not working.
9. The NDP are stalling this legislation as long as they can saying,
Take the locks off the door, let postal workers go back to work, as they never intended to leave, and continue with the negotiation without interference from the government with all its legislative power.
10. There may be more but these are the 4 sides to public opinion I’ve come across:
a) Lazy, greedy, communist workers need to get back to work and shut up. The NDP just want attention, are Communists and should shut the hell up.
b) I don’t know enough information and find it hard to make an opinion on the whole situation.
c) I always support Unions. They gave us weekends, 40/hr work weeks, equal pay for women/minorities, maternaty leave, child labour laws, etc, etc, etc.
d) I’m apathetic about everything why should this situation be any different?
- The experience that I’ve got SO FAR is that people from “a)” are almost exclusively Conservative voters. Not all Conservative voters, just the ones that fit in “a)” seem to make strong opinions about things extremely quickly without need for any information and are quick to label all opposed “Communists”.
My opinion is so far “b)”, but also that the Conservative voters that have access to me or I to them are reactionary jerks.