Why Workfloor Enforcement of safety standards is important
Cousins & Comrades,
Since there were (thankfully) no emergency developments this week, I thought I would save all the important updates for one email.
Stay calm, stay informed, and take care. Enjoy your weekend.
- Why Workfloor Enforcement Of Safety Standards Is Important
"The hard truth is that postal workers sharing facilities with many others will have a higher probability of being infected than those self-isolating all day at home. A conservative estimate is that we’ll be navigating this crisis for at least two more months. It is vitally important, now more than ever, that we fully commit to the best safety practices being recommended so we can minimize the chances of infection and outbreak in our facilities." Some of our members in a couple depots and the EMPP are having difficulty understanding why the union is recommending certain safety standards. Here are some detailed explanations for how staggered starts should work and why they're important, as well as how to make sure management is following adequate physical distancing guidelines.
Why Workfloor Enforcement Of Safety Standards Is Important [Links - Depot Edition - EMPP Edition]
- Right To Refuse At Rosedale Depot
Last week, using the guidelines developed by Edmonton activists, a handful of letter carriers on Rosedale's 4th wave called management outside to use their right to complain. The carriers brought up concerns about depot congestion (earlier waves returning while later waves are still prepping), supervisors consistently violating physical distancing, and a lack of adequate cleaning in both the washrooms and vehicles. CPC was unwilling to commit to make any timely changes so one member, then and there, used her right to refuse. The depot was shut down for about 1 hour for the investigation until CPC provided a list of changes they will commit to at Rosedale such as supervisors no longer violating physical distancing , guidelines that delivery agents returning from route are not return to their case, and posting a schedule of when, and what, cleaning is taking place. The member felt that the measures (that have since been implemented) were adequate but that she still had concerns about contamination in the depot due to needless congestion; she was given the option to go home with full pay until notified that proper cleaning had taken place. She has since returned to work and is happy to see CPC has been forced to address her concerns.
- Petition Almost At 20,000 Signatures! Postal Workers Still Need Your Help!
Here's the latest petition update: "As the C19 crisis deepens, it's becoming clear that the end is not within sight. The Ontario government is projecting 80,000 confirmed cases before the end of April 2020, while Alberta projects that 1 in 6 of their own are 'likely' to test positive by mid-May, 2020. If these are the contamination projections for people supposedly self-isolating, what are the projections for all the postal workers congregating in facilities and sharing equipment with 30-200 other people? Unless the health authorities force CPC operations to abide by best practice pandemic protocol, postal workers will continue to be one of the biggest vulnerabilities in our C19 containment strategy by getting each other sick as well as everyone they interact with outside of work. The more of us that support, and pass on, this petition, the more postal workers will be emboldened to demand a health authority audit of CPC operations and refuse unsafe working conditions! Please keep sharing, postal workers still need your help!" (petition link here)
- Child Care and Quarantine Provisions Have Been Extended
Due to the efforts of our team at National, CPC just announced the following: "We are extending paid Special Leave for employees who are dealing with school and daycare closures, and caring for elderly parents who previously had care that is no longer available. Effective immediately, team leaders can now approve Special Leave for child care and elder care until further notice." More details can be found here. Anyone looking for childcare options that are available to postal workers (who are considered a 'core service' in Alberta) can check out this list.
For quarantine leave: "In discussions with CUPW, Canada Post has made appropriate changes for members [over 70, pregnant or immunocompromised]. Not only are they entitled to take "quarantine leave", but it has been stipulated that medical documentation to prove their condition (for immunocompromised, higher risk or pregnant workers) is not necessary at this time. More details here.
- Filling the Gaps
Rolling this on from last week: CPC Edmonton has assured us that all of our demands for decongesting work facilities, staggering breaks and start times, and providing sanitation kits (disposable gloves & rags, and disinfectant spray solutions) to all high-contact work areas have, or will be implemented soon. Of course, CPC can't be trusted so we're relying on our members to let our office know exactly where CPC is falling short. Please contact our health & safety officer, Rashpal [780-423-9000 ext 4], with the details so we can follow up, or with any suggestions on how we can better improve the safety standards of our facilities.
- Ongoing C19 Resources
Lots of important updates keep being made on both the CPC and CUPW sites. It's an excellent first stop for any concerns you may have.
- CUPW National Updates - Any update coming from National will be posted here first. To be sure you don't miss anything important, subscribe to their national email list here.
- CPC C19 Info - If you have any questions about how CPC is treating certain C19 related issues, a good first place to check before talking to a steward or contacting our office, is to check out their infopage here.
If after researching your question you still need clarification, please talk to a trusted shop steward or contact our office.