Ok, I’m not necessarily going to pick specifically on Canada Post or their union, just unions in general.

Unlike most people in the IT profession, I’ve had the “pleasure” of working for a union before.  Not in IT, but during one of those character building summer jobs, in a steel mill.  During my time there I also had the “pleasure” of being part of two one day strikes.  I never did hear the details, as it really didn’t concern me, I was only a part time worker.

From that experience, the experience my wife goes through ( she is a teacher, and therefor part of the teacher’s union ) and everything else that is going on with Canada Post, its union, Air Canada and its union.  I have come to a conclusion UNIONS SUCK.

The only people they seem to protect is the low end of the workforce involved.  When it comes to teachers, the good ones seem to be penalized when they out perform, over achieve, or try to help out more than the those who do the bare minimum.

I can’t speak to all the conditions affecting the CUPW ( Canadian United Postal Workers ) but some of them seem pretty ridiculous to me.  They are complaining that the starting salary is 18$/hr ( down from 23 ), pension ( anyone non unionized even have an idea of what that means ), and a few other things I’m sure we will never know about.

Seriously 23$/hr to deliver the mail, when in a lot of areas, there isn’t even the “hard labour” of walking from one house to the next, they just drop it at communal boxes and make the citizens go to them.  My post office worker drives around in her car from box to box, and drops the mail there.  She won’t even knock at my door when there is a package to deliver.  She will just fill out the card, and leave it on the handle and walk away.  I know because its happened a few times I was in the house next to the door in my living room ).

Salaries are usually justified by a few elements, to name some of them: skills/education required to complete a job, availability of workers, risk associated.  This is why doctors are paid more, because of the schooling required.  Professional athletes because of the skills, etc. So if we take out the “specialized training”, “hard labour” and “risk” factors, why the hell are they earning 23$/hr STARTING salary anyways.

As for pensions, haven’t they heard about RRSP’s, saving your money, oh wait that would involve taking responsibility for your own future, and not blaming someone else.

If you aren’t happy with the conditions of the employer, quit and find something else.  If enough people quit, the employer will need to realize that they aren’t paying enough, offering enough, etc.  I’m sure a lot people that earn a lot less that 23$/hr would jump at the chance to deliver the mail knowing these conditions.

I can understand that in the 1920’s unions were important to protect the employees.  With the creation of the “ministry of labour” that is province/nation wide (who’s sole purpose is to protect the employee from what used to be called exploitation) I personally don’t see the purpose for the unions anymore.


the IT dad