Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This *is* curious...

According to Jonathan Kay at the National Post, Denis Lemelin, the National President of CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) responded to Mr Kay's query about CUPW's boycott of Israeli made products this way:
Re: Jonathan Kay asks: Now that CUPW is boycotting Israel, will Canada Post deliver mail to the Israeli embassy? April 28.

[small portion edited]...Unlike the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinian mail, CUPW has no plans to block mail to and from Israel as of yet. [editing and emphasis mine]
The curious part:

Is the "as of yet" part just sloppy (as in: heat of the moment) writing, a veiled threat to refuse to deliver such mail in the future, or (maybe??? I would hope not) an indication that blocking mail for partisan political reasons has been a CUPW tactic in the past?

You can read what Mr. Kay posts as Mr. Lemelin's full response at the link given above, but--as does Mr. Kay--I think that's a very curious thing for Mr. Lemelin to write.

I wasn't aware that CUPW had the authority to determine which mail will or won't get delivered. Actually, I wasn't aware that CUPW would even imagine they had that authority. My reading of the Canada Post Corporation Act would seem to indicate that any such authority rests with the Canada Post Corporation itself, in other words: with management (or, obviously, the Federal Government), not with the Union.

My reading/understanding of the Canada Post Corporation Act, PART II: GENERAL POSTAL MATTERS/Offences and Punishment:
Abandonment of mail

49. Every person commits an offence who unlawfully and knowingly abandons, misdirects, obstructs, delays or detains the progress of any mail or mail conveyance.


Delay of mail

50. (1) Every person commits an offence who, without reasonable cause, refuses to permit or delays permitting any mail or mail conveyance to pass on or use any road, ferry or other route or mode of transport access to which is under his control.
would seem to indicate that doing so would be a direct violation of the Act.

(For some possibly relevant insight into how Canada Post itself generally views a refusal to deliver mail, see this 2006 article at LibCom.Org regarding a past decision by a postal worker who refused to deliver some mail.)

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