Canada Post: Victory comes through the extension of our struggle

The document below is an English translation of a leaflet given out by comrades of the GIO, affiliate of the ICT in Canada, to postal workers. The postal workers were locked out by Post Canada in 2011 after a couple days of strike. The answer of the workers was pretty combative. In Edmonton they ''locked in'' the managers. And then the government brought in a back to work legislation and imposed the bosses’ conditions as the outcome. The strike ended, largely because of the union. After that they put into action a policy of rationalisation which they called ''Poste moderne '' (yes, Post-modern). This drastically increased the suicide rate and the level of burn out amongst the postal service employees. Now, the Conservative government wants to stop home deliveries and cut 8000 job from this public service. Some posties held a wildcat strike for a day and occupied a conservative MP’s office.

Canada posts’ management and the Conservative government are proposing to cut home deliveries. We know that this will mean 8000 less jobs and for those of us left, working conditions that will be more precarious and difficult then they were already. For the wider population it is the loss of an important service. For the elderly and/or those who are handicapped it is their capacity to function with dignity that is being threatened. This attack on the working class is part of a larger austerity plan that followed the 2008 crisis which has included cuts in employment insurance and a numerous cuts in all levels of government services. We may find it hypocritical that the Conservative government wants to remove a service it finds so “inessential”, that it required back to work legislation in favour of the bosses to break the movement of postal workers in their last strike, but to be surprised by the hypocrisy of a bourgeois government is like being surprised that the sun rises in morning.

Already the fight is being organized. Step by step, local initiatives are opposing the traditional union charades but let’s be realistic, that on its own will not be enough. An important step in the fight to come will be to go beyond these tiring charades, these symbolic actions and to move towards a real strike.

However, stopping a service that is being prepared for closure is not enough. The only way to win will be to successfully hit the bourgeoisie’s wallet with every means at our disposal. Like the students in Quebec in 2012, blockades of economically strategic points could be a potential avenue to consider on top of an eventual wildcat strike that would allow us enough time to carry out these types of disruptive actions. If we want to build for ourselves a force that can fight back we will need to break with capitalist legality, fight the injunctions and the police. We need to organize outside of the unions, shackled by the law, who become so yellow as soon as fines threaten the union bureaucracy.

If it’s victory we want, we will need to rally other sections of the working class to struggle. We are present all across Canada, our struggle could serve to inspire a fight across the country against austerity. We need to extend our demands so that they respond to all measures of austerity. We need to self-organize in inter-professional autonomous assemblies, coordinated at a national level so that we could pass over union differences and regroup non-unionized workers. We could distribute leaflets and texts calling people to join these assemblies and to prepare for a political mass strike against austerity in all the letter boxes across the country. Only the greatest unity of the working class in struggle against austerity can really guarantee our quality of life.

Speaking of our quality of life, isn’t it upsetting to have to fight for a job whose pace and rhythm we have no control over? To have to fight for a pay cheque that will just pass from our boss to the landlord, the bank or the credit card company? To pay more each week for a grocery order that gets smaller and smaller? To work overtime while fattening up some government bureaucrat sold off to capitalist interests? Struggles are also moments to speak about our daily lives with a political perspective, to refuse to have our lives dictated by some capitalists who doesn’t have the slightest idea under what conditions we live. A victory for the Canada Post workers would be a great victory for the whole working class, but if we want to go further, if we want to take our lives into our own hands we need a political organization capable of attacking the bourgeoisie and destroying the capitalist system. The Internationalist Workers’ Group (Groupe Internationaliste Ouvrier) want to help build such an organization, to build a world that will be in the image of our class, the proletariat. A world where the economy will be controlled democratically, where we will produce to satisfy the needs of everyone and not just for the profit of a privileged few. If this fight for a world without classes and without a repressive state is also yours, contact us.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014