December 20, 2001

Workers can strike on January 10, 2002
For Canada Post, it's fair game to discriminate against its female workers!

OTTAWA - After weeks of negotiation and conciliation with Canada Post representatives, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) negotiators got the message loud and clear: For Canada Post, it's fair game to offer discriminatory working conditions to certain groups of workers.

"We tried and tried to understand the untold reasons behind Canada Post's refusal to offer to our members, two thirds of whom are women, the same working conditions enjoyed by other male-dominated groups within the company," said Luc Guevremont, president of the PSAC Union of Postal Communications Employees (UPCE). "With the employer's final position, we saw exactly where they want to go. For Canada Post, because the majority of our membership is made up of women, it's normal to offer them inferior working conditions and benefits."

"However, we have to remind Canada Post and its President, André Ouellet, that we are in 2002 and that only bad employers are sticking to this attitude," added Guevremont. "The employer still refuses to grant job security to these workers, and it wants to introduce an unfair job evaluation plan that will underpay many of them. Furthermore, even if the Canadian government recently modified its law to enhance maternity and parental leave, and many employers have agreed to top up the amount paid by Employment Insurance, Canada Post still keeps a foot in the 19th Century by refusing to provide its workers with full top up. This is unacceptable and our members will remind Canada Post of this," added Guevremont.

The PSAC will launch strike action around January 10, 2002, when its 2,800 members at Canada Post will be in a legal strike position. These members voted 70% in favour of a strike on November 26. They provide customer service and perform administrative, financial, technical and professional duties. Their collective agreement expired on October 30, 2001.

According to Guevremont, "Canada Post can modify its attitude, but time is running short. Our members want to be treated with dignity and respect and enjoy the same benefits offered by the Corporation to its other workers. Profits at Canada Post have never been higher and they are already offering to other workers the benefits sought by our members. Canada Post must stop this discriminatory treatment and offer to our members decent working conditions. It's a question of respect and equity," concluded Guevremont.

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For information: Luc Guevremont, president, PSAC/UPCE - (613) 560-4342