Update on Automation
by Deborah Bourque, National President, CUPW
We have just received written responses from Canada post to some of the union's 76 questions concerning the employer's modernization program. Watch for another bulletin soon with a summary of those responses. We also received some information at a consultation meeting last week. Here are the highlights.
- Mechanized sequencing of letters: CPC expects that it will be able to successfully machine sequence about 90percent of short and long letters. This is the same rate as currently sequenced in the United States. 85 percent of letter carrier routes, that is, those that are within a 2-hour driving distance of mechanized plants, will be sequenced.
- No sequencing of flats: CPC is not considering the sequencing of flats at this time.
- Motorization to eliminate relay boxes: CPC intends to remove relay boxes as a result of increased motorization of letter carrier routes. It plans to double the number of vehicles from 4,500 to 9,000.
- Part-time workforce?: CPC informed the union that some other countries have moved to a part-time workforce after they have separated sortation and delivery.
- Reduced number of facilities: CPC is planning a 25 percent reduction in the number of letter carrier depots.
- Mail Service Couriers (MSCs): CPC is considering eliminating dedicated MSCs. It does not want to have two vehicles visiting the same road twice in the same day.
- Containers: CPC is looking at new ergonomically improved containers.
- A62 carrier cases: CPC is looking at using the same cases three times in one day, utilizing a LED display to change case strips as needed.
- 1 Yonge and Port Credit: The leases of these facilities will not be renewed.
At all meetings with employer representatives CUPW stresses that all adverse effects of technology must be eliminated and postal workers and the public must also share in the benefits of automation. That means that work must be contracted-in and services must be expanded. No equipment should be purchased until health and safety studies have been conducted and agreements are reached between the union and the employer. Work must be structured to maximize full-time regular jobs and day shift positions.
National Grievance on Notice
CUPW has filed a national grievance concerning the failure of CPC to properly notify the union in accordance with Article 29 of the collective agreement. This information is necessary so that the union can consult with the employer and ensure that the protections included in Article 29 are fully implemented. Our grievance also contests the employer's inappropriate communication with members in violation of the union's role as the exclusive bargaining agent. We will update you with further information as it becomes available.
Links and sources
Posted: March 25, 2008
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