First off, CUPW is the most progressive union in Canada. It has been at the forefront of many progressive struggles. It was the first national union to pass a boycott, divestment and sanction resolution against the state of Israel for its illegal occupation of Palestine. CUPW was also the first Canadian union to pass a boycott resolution against South African apartheid. It has also taken stances against the Iraq war and the Afghan war as well as taking stances against NAFTA and the FTAA. CUPW is also a major reason that maternity leave exists at all in Canada. In 1981, as a result of a 42-day strike, CUPW successfully negotiated 17 weeks of maternity leave paid at a rate of 93% of wages. This was a major breakthrough for all workers as the government and other major employers were forced to provide maternity leave and improve on it.
The defeat of the postal workers would be a major blow to the Canadian labour movement which is also facing huge jobs cuts on the federal level. If the CPC were victorious other major employers would implement many of CPC's rules regarding sick leave and wage rollbacks and two-tier workplaces. This would be disastrous for all workers, whether they are unionized or not.
The CPC and the Harper government want to privatize our postal system. The CPC over the years has been whittling down the services provided by the postal system. They have reduced rural service, replaced door-to-door service with community mail boxes and have gotten rid of banking services. An expanded postal service would create more jobs and provide more services in our communities.
Our society has become more and more unequal. As the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives', Linda Mcquaig and others, have noted, the top-earning 1 per cent of Canadians almost doubled their share of national income, from 7.7 per cent to 13.8 per cent, over the past three decades. Things are only set to get worse under Harper. Workers, both unionized and non-unionized face a future of precarious job security and working conditions. Migrant labourers, women and people of colour will be facing even worse conditions as the Harper government will cut services, increase the security apparatus and institute a regressive regime that will police borders, bodies and dissent with the utmost cruelty.
This will be done in the service of a system, capitalism, which serves only those who already have power and wealth beyond the wildest imagination of most people in our society.
We are facing a choice in our society. Do we want to live in a place where managers and bosses aim to squeeze out as much profit from our labour and our communities just so a few people can have a third home and a second yacht? Or do we want to live in communities based on social solidarity, where if someone is down and out we help them out as equals and we look out for one another?I prefer living in the former, thanks very much, because the latter is a nightmarish Marxist "Utopia" where only a select few at the very top of the heap get all the perks, whereas in a Capitalistic system everyone has a shot at making their own money and their own way in the world.
I think BCF puts it very well he asks:
Do we really want to continue to line the pockets of CUPW's psychotic leadership so they can continue to support the Sea Hitler Gaza Boat?