Chief Shop Steward – External
February 2024 Officer’s Report
Greetings and salutations, my fellow 856ers. Another month has come and gone, and with it has the official expiry date of our Collective Agreements. That said, please rest assured, while negotiations are ongoing, both the RSMC and Urban Post Office CAs remain in full effect. Not that one would necessarily know it, with yet another shift in the Corporation’s demeanor. Over the last month, they’ve shifted focus once more, and the majority of the discipline we’ve seen, and represented our members through, has been vehicular in nature.
The number of vehicular incidents city wide has, unsurprisingly given the icy conditions we all had to work through, risen over past years. The abnormally warm temperatures, particularly the daytime highs, have led to freeze-thaw cycles that we don’t normally see until the end of March or the beginning of April. And this has, in turn, led to the corporation taking an often-draconian stance on vehicular interactions. Never in my years have I seen the number of 5-day + suspensions for a collision or other vehicular interaction. Having to navigate the icy conditions has taken a toll on many of our letter carrying cousins and siblings, both physically and mentally, and has contributed significantly to a higher-than-normal number of instances of carriers forgetting to secure their vehicles, often out of sheer exhaustion.
Not to steal the thunder from our VP, Mahdia Hasan, who is the chairperson of our Organizing Committee, but the committee has been hard at work as well. We’ve hosted “coffee trucks” across the city, had our stewards working hard to help us update everyone’s contact information, circulated a petition from National reminding the Government of Canada to respect our Charter rights, and have been diligently working on a cohesive plan should we be put in a job action position. Our “coffee trucks” have largely been to keep our members informed about the ongoing issues carriers are having with SSD, and negative trends that we’re noticing with the current builds, but also to keep you apprised of what is going on with the ongoing negotiations. Should talks break down, and we are thrust into a job action, those updated contacts are crucial in order for your Local to keep in touch with you and keep you up to date on what’s going on. We have also been in regular contact with many of the other Locals across the Prairie Region and have been doing our utmost to build a united front should job action be required.
I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who put their name forward to become a shop steward. Both returning stewards and bright-eyed new stewards alike, we welcome you to the struggle, and I want you to know that, from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate each and every one of you. There is strength in numbers, and our strength and presence just increased exponentially. Thank you all.
With that, dear readers, I would like to bid you all farewell until next month. As always, I encourage you all to continue to look out for yourselves, and for one another. Work safely, even if you have to slow down and bring product back. If/When you do bring product back, please ensure you’re communicating with your supervisor. Whenever there’s any hazard or something out of the ordinary that affects your ability to do your job in a safe and timely manner, communicate with your LJHSC, your stewards, and your supervisors. And, as always, don’t forget to bring a steward.