September 2020 President's Report - Recalibration
C19 In Our Facilities
All those following the bulletins and listserv updates out of our office will know about the three confirmed C19 cases among our members over the past month. Each of Delton, Rosedale and the EMPP were given comprehensive cleanings and anyone working in close proximity to the infected members were allowed to self-isolate at home while awaiting testing. As of yet, no internal spreading has happened on our workfloors, and as long as we remain vigilant with our physical distancing, personal sanitation, staggered shifts & breaks, and voluntary mask usage, we should be able to contain most instances where the virus is unknowingly brought to work.
Back-to-school will likely trigger a bigger spread than when the virus first appeared in March. As with everything related to worker well-being, CPC is only as responsible as we force them to be. If any facility is experiencing a deficit of safety protocol, or is starting to slide away from the new standards established, contact Rashpal in our Health & Safety office immediately. Between pressuring CPC, and our members leading by example, we will weather this storm. Please make sure to keep an eye on the email updates as our office will continue to keep our local informed of any further confirmed cases or new safety guidelines.
Amazon Direct Depot Induction
Between September 29 and Oct 6, CPC will be implementing a project called direct depot induction (or DDI) in every major Edmonton depot except Delton and Rosedale. CPC has consulted Nationally to bring in large shipments of parcels from Amazon directly to the appropriate depots throughout the country. Next week we will be consulting on the local implementation to make sure enough new positions are created to handle the work, that the proper safety protocol will be in place, and that adequate space and equipment will be available.
Reports indicate that this project has successfully created more work and positions throughout the country. The one persistent concern has been that Amazon sometimes ships pallets that are improperly secured (e.g. heavier and larger items a the top of a stack that fall off, or that the pallet is not wrapped properly); fortunately, as long as our members refuse to process these pallets, and insist that they are sent back, the problem is fixed relatively quickly. Any further details, concerns, or objections coming from the consult will be shared widely with members.
Anytime we pass a bylaw change in our local, it then needs to be sent to the National office for official ratification. After waiting a couple months, National finally rubber-stamped our motion to create a Communications officer position. This is a very exciting development for our local which will help us take the next step in keeping our members more informed about what our local is up to and how they can get involved. The Elections committee has already met and is recommending that since the position is being introduced midway through its term, that it will be announced as an interim floor election at the October GMM lasting until April 2021. For the April 2021 local election cycle, the Communications officer will be subject to the same bylaw requirements as every other position up for elections and go through the 8 week nomination process, and ballot election.
There are many ways the pandemic is challenging our ability to empower and organize our members but we endeavor to find creative ways to push ahead. After taking the summer months to recharge, our activists and new Education chair, James Ball, have come up with an ambitious schedule that allows for our local to continue offering training opportunities for our members. The upcoming two basic and two advanced steward courses will be somewhat of a test-run for some of our newly trained facilitators to run reduced class sizes that allow for ample physical distancing. Depending on how these go, we’ll look into what courses we can offer in the months ahead.
I’ve been in regular contact with our Regional Organizing and Education officer, Dave Lambert, about trying to move ahead with our cross-local organizing efforts despite C19. At their GMM this weekend, the Winnipeg local will be voting on a motion to fund ‘Taking Back the Workfloor’ courses. If it passes, we will be exploring the possibility of sending trainers to Winnipeg sometime in October to safely help get them set up in the course as well as run it in a facility large enough to accommodate a group of members with adequate physical distancing (Update 20.09.18: the motion passed). There are a lot of unknowns attached to this plan, so we will deal with what comes up as it comes up, each step of the way.
President, CUPW 730