AMHERST - Postal workers are delivering pension and social assistance cheques today in spite of being locked-out by Canada Post and legislated back-to-work by the government. Federal back-to-work legislation is expected to be introduced today or tomorrow.
"Going back to work to deal with the cheques may be difficult under the circumstances," CUPW National President Denis Lemelin said in a release issued this morning . "But our members understand that our dispute is with Canada Post and the government, not with pensioners and people on low incomes. Postal workers will deliver."
Lemelin said the union has been processing and delivering pension and social assistance cheques during postal disputes for at least three decades.
The union has a signed agreement with Canada Post to handle the cheques in the event of a strike or lock out. It means close to 9,000 postal workers are processing and delivering over 2 million cheques this month. CUPW members are not paid for delivering the cheques, but receive an honorarium of $50.
"Quite a few of our members donate the $50 honorarium to charity. We don't do this for the money. We do it because it's the right thing to do," said Lemelin.