CUPW President Denis Lemelin and CEP President Dave Coles
OTTAWA (March 28, 2011) -- CEP and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have signed a first-ever “Solidarity Pact” – a pledge to support each other in collective bargaining and social action.
“Our unions share common bargaining challenges with employers demanding concessions and roll backs on pensions, health benefits and more,” Dave Coles told a group of officers and staff from both unions gathered at CEP national office to witness the signing.
“Another common problem is the federal government: We found out the hard way that politics counts when it comes to collective bargaining,” he said, referring to Canada’s bankruptcy laws, which force workers to the back of the line of creditors when it comes to collecting what they are owed.
CUPW President Denis Lemelin stressed that our two unions share a history of militancy and progressive social unionism. He said that CUPW will soon be taking a strike vote as bargaining for 45,000 of his members is at an impasse. “We look forward to CEP’s support at Local union events that may take place in the coming weeks and months.”
CEP Secretary-Treasurer Gaetan Menard, who recently participated in the Wisconsin rallies, said he was overwhelmed by the support those public sector workers received from unions and citizens from all walks of life. Brother Menard warned that, “the same elements behind the Tea Party are at work here in Canada. The only answer to that is solidarity.”