Public Values

CUPW and CEP sign solidarity pact

Communications workers vow to support postal workers in their fight for public services.

March 28, 2011: Two prominent Canadian unions have formally agreed to stand together in solidarity against the deregulation and privatization of postal services and telecommunications and broadcasting industries and in support of collective bargaining and labour rights gained over several decades.

"The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) are proud Canadian unions which share a history of solidarity, militancy, and progressive social unionism.

CUPW and CEP each represent tens of thousands of members in the communications sector. Postal services and telecommunications are historically linked and remain commonly governed in many countries.

Together, postal services and telecommunications form a distinct division of the International Labour Organization. In Canada, telecommunications and postal services retain similar public service mandates and face similar challenges of free trade, deregulation, and competition.

CUPW and CEP each have tens of thousands of members governed by the Canada Labour Relations Code, and have members and local unions in hundreds of Canadian communities and major urban centres.

CUPW and CEP also are diverse unions representing Canadian workers in public and private sector industries, from forestry, energy, media, and graphical to warehouses, couriers, and mail house workers.

CUPW and CEP are each committed to global union solidarity and are the major Canadian affiliates of Union Network International (UN I). CUPW and CEP each face the challenges of neo-liberal governments determined to sell out Canadian sovereignty, abandoning their responsibility to maintain universal and public postal services and Canadian-owned telecommunications and broadcasting industries serving the public interest.

CUPW and CEP each also face demands for concessions in collective bargaining to roll back decades of progress on pensions, health benefits, and to divide our memberships with two-tier wage and compensation systems.

In the aftermath of "the great recession" of 2008-2009, corporations and governments now seek to exploit the economic crisis by attacking worker rights and weakening unions. This is a crucial moment for organized labour, globally and in Canada, to make our solidarity more concrete, stop concessions and membership decline, and rebuild strength and influence.

Therefore, CUPW and CEP affirm their solidarity and cooperation, including:

We stand in mutual support of our collective bargaining struggles. We will ensure that our leadership, our local unions, and our member activists understand the crucial struggles that each union has engaged.

We will facilitate worker-to-worker communication at the national and local levels and organize concrete solidarity according to the needs and requests of each union.

We commit to material assistance in labour disputes based on the request of either union and on the oversight and requirements of our respective Executive Boards. Such material assistance may include communications and special projects support, picket line support, and loans or other financial assistance.

We shall cooperate and coordinate activities to maintain Canadian sovereignty in postal services, telecommunications, and broadcasting.

We shall cooperate and coordinate our activities within UNI and other global labour bodies. We commit to respect and support the strategic bargaining strength of each union and to a cooperative approach to organizing, including joint organizing campaigns where appropriate.

We agree that CUPW and CEP leadership will maintain open and constructive relationships and strive for consensus on key issues facing the Canadian and global labour movements."

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  CEP-CUPW solidarity pact

Posted: March 30, 2011

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