The Rise of Solidarity: Postal Workers Refuse Unsafe Work

In Winnipeg, Canada, a new postal system was launched which contains 80 percent of the mail to be sorted by new machines and the rest of the mail are hand sorted due to envelop sizes and illegible addresses. Once obtained, carriers are told by management to head to the field right away with two or more bundles which is unsafe for the carrier because they couldn’t even see where they were walking and as a result causes injuries such as falling. After numerous of injuries occurred, one individual took action and told his boss he wasn’t going to do it because he has tried the new system and he had stumbled a few times and asked to go home. The news traveled and all the workers that were working that day decided to go home as well. However, the workers were in fear of losing their jobs so they went back to work the next day but media took notice when it first happened which was spread rapidly. Winnipeg locals started a campaign, “Porch Lights for Posties” and went door to door to the neighborhood which was suffering from the worst delivery delays and gave them a flier and a light bulb which allowed the carriers to have a safer trip delivering mail.

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is negotiating a new contract that demands for health and safety which will allow them to go back to the one bundle delivery. However, another major issue is that there is a huge job cut, about 1,800 full-time positions.

This could have all been avoided if management allowed the carriers to stack them into one bundle which makes it safer for the carriers to deliver the mail but until something is done, i’ll be hoping for the carriers a safe trip! I am glad this issue is being noticed and that someone took action which in hope the system will be fixed soon.

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