May 7, 2008

Police Called to Unionville Station to Enforce Rotation of Duties:

A Shameful Abuse of Power by Station Superintendent

On the instructions of Unionville Station Superintendent, Raj Paul, York Regional police were called to the Unionville Postal Station in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday 29 April 2008. The police came there to evict an employee who could not, on her doctor’s orders, follow a work hardening programme towards a full rotation of duties schedule, as dictated by Manulife Financial.

This calling of the police to remove the employee from the building represents a disgusting new low level to which CPC officials, including its advisors at Manulife Insurance, are prepared to stoop, to force workers to break the recommendations of their doctors in terms of their health and safety.

It is not uncommon for the Manulife Financial’s extremely subjective re-assessments of workers on modified duties, to be in conflict with the recommendations of one’s personal doctors. There is a civilized and sympathetic method of sorting out these issues. One of these methods is certainly not the calling of the police to remove a worker who reported for duty to perform 8 hours of work – like she had done for the past 18 years.

This method is certainly in violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the common sense expected to be used by supervisory staff in sorting out difficulties pertaining to injured or modified workers.

It is a well known fact that there are many workers at Canada Post who over the years have been accommodated with appropriate assistive devices, including ergonomic chairs, special sortation cases etc., to have them accomplish their hours of work in as productive and as safe a manner as possible. It will require far more skills than calling the police in the early morning hours if adjustments are to be made in the accommodated methods with which these workers have become familiar.

It is extremely discriminatory and borders on the inhumane when modified workers are being randomly picked and being subjected to this humiliating treatment by management and it medical health provider Manulife Financial. Additionally it is extremely disruptive to people’s personal lives when they are being driven onto state assistance such as Medical Unemployment (paid just over half of their wages and for a limited number of weeks) when they are productive employees whose impediments may only be inhibiting them from performing a few duties at Canada Post or whose required accommodation takes skin of no one’s back.

It is bullying and an extreme violation of the law in every form when people are being sent home and being declared as Absent With Out Leave (AWOL) because they are being thrown off the job and police are being called to remove them from the workplace for the simple reason that they turned up for work and asked to be allowed to perform the duties which they were doing yesterday and the day before and the day before that, for 18 years.

This situation calls for all workers to stand in solidarity and unity with each other. Today it is the injured and modified workers being attacked. Tomorrow it will be those who are not injured or modified. Workers at Unionville must stand as one in opposing these oppressive actions of management. AN ATTACK ON ONE IS AN ATTACK ON ALL !!

In Solidarity

Learie Charles
Grievance Officer
Scarborough Local