| 02-18-2023

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President's Statement: Police Called and Full-Time Officers Banned from Canada Post Property

President’s Statement: Police Called and Full-Time Officers Banned from Canada Post Property

On Feb 16, 2023 I was asked to join members of the parcel section on shift 3, the evening shift, at the Edmonton Mail Processing Plant (EMPP) to have a meeting with their shift manager. The members had initially requested the meeting with him last Thursday but were told he was unavailable and would speak with them at their quarterly meeting, scheduled for this Thursday. In preparation I gave Canada Post Corp (CPC) the proper notice as per our Collective Agreement (CA) and reminded the shift manager ahead of time that the members had requested to speak to him at the meeting.

At the appointed time, I joined the members of the parcel section for their  meeting, which management had decided to cancel. Regardless, the members joined together and showed up for the meeting because they needed to be heard - at this point the supervisors tried to brush them off. When the shift manager arrived, he tried to take me aside for a private conversation and proceeded to ask me how I gained access to the building. He did not address the members who were attempting to use their right to complain under article 9.07 of our CA. He then left the meeting but lingered in the area.

Meanwhile, the workers continued to request their scheduled discussion with their shift manager as the other supervisors yelled and pointed fingers at them - it was quite hostile. Our request was refused and threats of discipline started. 

Still, the members held-fast and refused to give up their right to complain. They were here to bring forward important health and safety issues and had waited long enough. They were also clear that they wanted to get back to work, but wanted to have their 5 min conversation with management. 

An hour went by, then an hour and a half. In that time, CPC called in the city director, their labour relations officer, and their head of security.  The city director did not listen to the members  concerns and instead made threats and accusations in a raised voice, even telling a shop steward that, “yes,” he was denying them their right to complain under article 9.07 of the CA.  The labour relations officer, with little convincing, did take the time to hear what the members had to say. She then told them that their actions count as a major misconduct  and discipline could follow. 

When the head of CPC security arrived, he asked to speak with me privately - I agreed, but did bring a shop steward with me. He told me that there were police officers waiting outside and that he was talking to CPC legal team about what charges to lay: either a disturbance charge or a delay of mail under the Canada Post Act. 

As I went to the building foyer, I saw that there were three police officers and their separate vehicles waiting. They had a brief conversation with our head of security, which concluded with him apologizing to the officers, saying “sorry for wasting your time.” 

All the members wanted was their five minutes with their shift manager. 

This morning, CPC sent an email banning all full-time officers from Canada Post property. They then sent another email changing all grievance hearings to virtual meetings until further notice. By early afternoon they restored access to  all full-time officers except for me. This is a clear violation of article 3.04 regarding Union Access to Place of Employment. 

I am so proud of our shift 3 members - we even broke into a chorus of Solidarity Forever at one point. They calmly stood their ground and didn’t back down. 

In Solidarity,

Devon Rundvall

President CUPW Local 730

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