Comrades & friends,
By now, everyone should be familiar with the grim pattern we’ve settled into as the virus is unknowingly brought into our workplaces from the outside world. We can’t control how poorly the Kenney government has navigated this crisis, but we can control how vigilant we are in our workplaces by collectively asserting the safety protocol we’ve established since last April. Refusing unsafe work is always a very effective option if management will not guarantee a safe work environment. If you ever feel the need to use your right to refuse, or have other concerns, workfloor organizers, shop stewards, LJHSC representatives, and our office are here to help. Please reach out -- we are always stronger together.
In this week’s dispatch you will find a short interview I did with the Edmonton Journal about how the provincial government’s unresponsiveness to the pandemic undermines our own safety efforts, local C19 updates, more documentation on the CUPW National President’s Conference, a FAQ on how weekend work should be offered in depots, and a podcast episode with important historical lessons from the 1983 (almost) general strike in BC.
“For the past few months, the Alberta government hasn’t really taken these concerns seriously about how spread can go,” Schmidt said. “With cases going up, it’s just inevitable that our workers get infected outside of work and unknowingly bring it into work. The fact that we haven’t had an internal outbreak yet is kind of a small miracle.” (Read more)
Since last update, we’ve had 16 more confirmed, or presumptive, cases in our local, totaling 52 in the last month. An attainable goal for our local is to be patient, kind and supportive of one another to get through this crisis without an internal outbreak similar to what happened in the Saskatoon processing plant.
12.10 - Whitemud South - Wave 1A - Carrier
12.10 - EMPP - Shift 3 - City Finals (presumptive)
12.10 - Rosedale - Wave 1A - Carrier (presumptive)
12.11 - Sherwood Park - Wave 1B - RSMC
12.12 - St. Paul - RSMC
12.13 - EMPP - Shift 3 - Parcels
12.14 - CPC HR - Time in EMPP and Mayfield
12.15 - Delton - Wave 1A - Carrier
12.15 - Delton - Wave 1B - Carrier
12.16 - EMPP - Shift 1 - MLs
12.16 - EMPP - Shift 2 - MLs
12.16 - EMPP - Shift 2 - Parcels (presumptive)
12.17 - Athabasca - Retail
12.17 - Sherwood Park - Wave 1A - Carrier
12.17 - EMPP - Shift 3 - Parcels
12.18 - Rosedale - Wave 1A - Relief Carrier (presumptive)
Please see our previously shared information on the mandatory mask policy, where to receive more information on claiming isolation/quarantine pay, or if you are seeking medical exemptions. (Read more)
On Nov 20-22, all CUPW Local presidents, full-time officers, and Regional officers met with the National Executive for a National President’s Conference (via video). This once-every-four-year event was really strong at dissecting the technical problems with the arbitration imposed contract but lacking when it came to how to strategically correct these problems, or avoid falling into the same trap. My analysis/report on the meeting can be found below, along with the presentation slides given by our National Executive, and some resulting technical Q&A. There is a lot of information here but I feel it's important to make available in the interests of full transparency. (Read more)
What happens when a government adopts the Fraser Institute’s policies wholesale, pushing cutbacks, austerity and a rollback of rights? How does labour leadership respond to widespread discontent with a government— and how does it act to contain this discontent? Team Advantage explores Operation Solidarity, one of the largest political protests in British Columbia’s history. (Listen here)
Management in most depots are following the proper procedure, but some still need some clarification on the process. Peak season is also overtime season. Opportunities to work rotational days off and statutory holidays (RDOH x2 paid time), as well as regular schedule OT (RSO x1.5 paid time) are readily available. To guarantee OT is offered transparently and fairly, we follow the guidelines of equal opportunity and seniority as set out in articles 15 & 17 of our collective agreement. (Read more)
To stay aligned with the newest health guidelines, our office remains locked and available by appointment only. We are trying to conduct all meetings with members over the phone or via video conferencing. Exemptions can be made for unique circumstances. In either case, please call (780) 423-9000 to arrange an appointment with the appropriate officer. We are extremely busy in the office trying to put out a thousand different fires, so please leave a message if you’re unable to catch us on the phone.