National President, CUPW
377 Bank St.
Ottawa ON K2P 1Y3
June 13, 2013
Dear Mr. Lemelin,
Recently you challenged some of the assertions in my House of Commons speech on the subject of Canada Post. Allow me to respond with facts.
Your letter reads: “You also said that the union requires taxpayers to fund almost 500 corporate post offices. These statements are not true and display a remarkable ignorance of the actual situation.”
In fact, my comments were perfectly accurate and I have proof. Allow me to quote your collective agreement on page 425:
“The Corporation undertakes that as of January 31, 2011 the number of retail counters shall not be less than four hundred ninety-three (493).”
Retail counters, of course, operate out of corporate post offices. Ergo, the agreement requires almost 500 offices remain open, just as I stated in my House of Commons speech.
Next you write: “The fact is that the job security provisions of our collective agreement have never caused a problem for Canada Post.”
My speech did not take issue with job security. Rather, I spoke of the ridiculous provision in the collective agreement that says no employee can be required to move more than 40 kilometres from their existing work location. Once again, allow me to quote the collective agreement:
“53.03 In this article, “zone” means the area within a forty (40) kilometre radius of a postal installation or, as the case may be, the territory that constitutes a MAPP area.”
Source: page 360
“53.22 No employee described in clause 53.01 shall be required to accept to be displaced to a postal installation beyond the zone of the installation where he or she was working.”
Source: page 369
That means employees cannot be moved to the places they are needed unless they agree, and may remain where they are least effective.
As for the profitability of Canada Post, the long-term trajectory is very bad. Allow me to quote from a recent Canada Post press release on the subject:
“The sale of a mail processing plant in downtown Vancouver lifted the Canada Post Group of Companies to a profit before tax of $51 million for the first quarter ended March 30, 2013. If not for the $109 million gain from the sale, the Group of Companies would have had a loss before tax of $58 million for the first quarter. The Group of Companies reported a loss before tax of $73 million for the first quarter of 2012. The core Canada Post segment would have reported a loss before tax of $41 million for the first quarter if not for the sale of the Vancouver plant.”
These numbers are only expected to worsen. The losses, plus accumulated liabilities in benefit plans, mean billions of dollars in costs for taxpayers. Parliament did not approve these costs and taxpayers should not be responsible for them. That is why our government is putting Canada Post on an affordable, self-sustaining path, in part through changes to the labour cost structure.
Canada Post employees want the chance to work hard and succeed. They realize that their well-being is the result of their productivity. We only get out of a job what we put into it.
Now that the facts are clear, I encourage you to work with employees and management to get the job done for taxpayers.
Pierre Poilievre MP
cc. Conservative Members of Parliament