NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES
NORTH AMERICAN AGREEMENT ON LABOR COOPERATION
VIOLATIONS OF NAALC LABOR PRINCIPLES AND OBLIGATIONS
IN THE CASE OF CANADIAN RURAL ROUTE MAIL COURIERS
Organization of Rural Route Mail Couriers
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO
Canadian Labour Congress
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ)
Communications, Energy and Paper Workers Union of Canada (CEP)
American Postal Workers Union
National Postal Mail Handlers Union
National Rural Letter Carriers Association
Communications Workers of America
Sindicato Nacional de Trajabadores del Servicio Postal Mexicano
Sindicato de Telefonistas de la Republica Mexicana
United Steelworkers of America
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Asociación Nacional de Abogados Democráticos
Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers
Réseau québécois sur l'intégration continentale
International Labor Rights Education and Research Fund
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
(613) 236-7238, #7909
For any legal information, please contact:
Claude G. Melançon
Melançon, Marceau, Grenier & Sciortino
Melançon, Marceau, Grenier & Sciortino
This submission raises issues concerning freedom of association and
the right to bargain collectively for rural route mail couriers employed
by the Canada Post Corporation.
In 1981, the Canadian Government enacted the Canada Post Corporation
Act which establishes the Canada Post Corporation as a government-owned
entity. The Act includes a provision that denies the right to collective
bargaining for rural route mail couriers, while urban letter carriers have
traditionally been unionized.
There have been two unsuccessful legal challenges of this provision,
one based on the Canada Labour Code and another based on the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms which is part of the Canadian Constitution.
Submitters contend that by refusing to repeal the provision, Canada
is in breach of its obligation under the North American Agreement on Labor
Cooperation (NAALC) to promote, to the maximum extent possible, the labor
principles set out in Annex 1, namely freedom of association, the right
to bargain collectively, prevention of and compensation for occupational
injuries and illnesses, and elimination of employment discrimination.
The submission also discusses Canada's obligations under ILO Conventions.
II. NAALC LABOR PRINCIPLES AND OBLIGATIONS FOR COOPERATIVE CONSULTATIONS
A. Labor principles addressed by this submission:
The National Administrative Office (NAO) of the United States has jurisdiction
to review this submission under Article 16(3) of the NAALC authorizing
each NAO to review public communications on labor law matters arising in
the territory of another Party, in accordance with domestic procedures.
The U.S. NAO is empowered under Article 21 to request consultations
with the Canadian NAO concerning labor law, its administration, or labor
market conditions in Canada.
Under Article 22, the U.S. Secretary of Labor may request consultations
with the Minister of Labor of Canada regarding any matter within the scope
of the NAALC. The matters raised in this submission are within the scope
of the Agreement.
A. Section 13(5) of the Canada Post Corporation Act: denial of the
right of association for the purpose of collective bargaining
The Canada Post Corporation employs a little over 5000 people across
Canada to deliver mail in rural areas. These workers, who make up close
to 10% of the Corporation's workforce, do not benefit from working conditions
similar to those of their colleagues who deliver mail in urban areas. They
barely earn minimum wage and they have no benefits. Rural mail couriers
are obliged to compete with one another as well as with third parties in
a tendering process, where Canada Post offers the available work to the
person who is willing to accept the lowest wages.
Rural mail couriers are denied the fundamental right to form a union
in order to negotiate a collective agreement. Therefore, they are also
denied the right to get reasonable and decent working conditions and achieve
the same level of protection as their colleagues serving urban dwellings.
The Parliament of Canada adopted specific legislation denying the right
to collective bargaining to rural route mail couriers in 1981 strictly
for financial reasons. It has refused ever since to repeal the provision.
When the Canada Post Corporation Act (hereafter referred to as the Act)
was adopted in 1981, the Postmaster General, Mr. André Ouellet,
insisted on including what is now section 13(5) of the Act:
Part I of the Canada Labour Code, titled Industrial Relations, deals with the acquisition of bargaining rights through a certification procedure and regulates the collective bargaining process as well as the collective agreement entered into by the employer and the certified association. Part I applies to employees of federal businesses as defined in section 3(1):
"Notwithstanding any provision of Part 1 of the Canada Labour Code, for the purposes of the application of that Part to the Corporation and to officers and employees of the Corporation, a mail contractor is deemed not to be a dependant contractor or an employee within the meaning of those terms in subsection 3(1) of that Act."
By adopting section 13(5) of the Act, Parliament denied rural route mail couriers the right to unionize and bargain collectively as well as the protection granted by the Canada Labour Code to workers who wish to associate for the purpose of entering into a collective agreement with their employer.
""employee" means any person employed by an employer and includes a dependant contractor and a private constable, but does not include a person who performs management functions or is employed in a confidential capacity in matters relating to industrial relations;
"dependant contractor" means
(a) the owner, purchaser or lessee of a vehicle used for hauling, other than on rails or tracks, livestock, liquids, goods, merchandise or other materials, who is a party to a contract, oral or in writing, under the terms of which he is
(b) a fisherman who […] (i) required to provide the vehicle by means of which he performs the contract and to operate the vehicle in accordance with the contract, and
(ii) entitled to retain for his own use from time to time any sum of money that remains after the cost of his performance of the contract is deducted from the amount he is paid, in accordance with the contract, for that performance,
(c) any other person who, whether or not employed under a contract of employment, performs work or services for another person on such terms and conditions that he is, in relation to that other person, in a position of economic dependence on, and under an obligation to perform duties for, that other person;"
When this provision was adopted, the reasons given by the Postmaster
General were purely financial. These are the explanations given by Mr.
Ouellet before the Standing Committee on Miscellaneous Estimates of the
House of Commons in December 1980:
Rural route mail couriers are denied the fundamental right of association for the purpose of collective bargaining based solely on financial reasons, preventing them from improving their working conditions and maintaining them in an inferior economic situation. According to Mr. Ouellet, the provision was adopted to enable the Canada Post Corporation to pay its workers as little as half their worth and maybe even the third of what they would be paid under negotiated terms.
"There are a number of reasons. One of the big ones obviously is that the override of the Canada Labour Code must continue in this proposed Canada Post Corporation Act, because without this override we believe the tendering system that exists presently would be destroyed. The present land mail service contracts that we have are valued at about $90 million. If we were to carry this to the extreme - and I do not want to exaggerate the figure - the possibility of increased expenditures could be doubled or even tripled. Thirdly, the rural mail contractors represent almost 69 per cent of all land mail service contracts. Approximately 60 per cent of these work fewer than four hours per day, therefore, if we were to have these people pressing for unions the next step would be for the union to press for equalization of work and full-time employment with, obviously, the triple effect in terms of escalation of costs. These are just a few of the reasons why I think it would be risky at this time to change this clause. I would prefer that you just approve the amendment that I suggest, rather than approve the amendment by Mr. Orlikow".
B. Working conditions of rural route mail couriers
Rural route mail couriers perform the same work as their colleagues
who are unionized letter carriers. Both work side by side within the postal
installations sorting the mail, both deliver letters, parcels, express
post, priority post, registers, certified items, items requiring proof
of delivery and both collect mail. Both perform their work under significant
administrative control by the Corporation.
The Canada Labour Relations Board recognized the similarities of the
functions in its decision of April 1987 (cited below):
Even though both perform the same work, rural route mail couriers and letter carriers employed by the Corporation do not have the same working conditions. Letter carriers have employment security, access to arbitration of grievances, health and safety committees and training, sick leave benefits, paid holidays and vacations, maternity benefits, medical and dental plans as well as higher wages.
"(...)we are equally satisfied that when a review is made of the functions of the couriers and letter carriers and, in some cases, rural post masters, the similarities of their functions greatly outweigh the dissimilarities. They are all involved with the sortation, delivery and collection of mail.. They are all involved with customer contact items, such as special delivery, c.o.d., etc. Just as letter carriers deliver the mail during the course of a walk, or in the case of a mobile letter carrier through the use of a vehicle, so do the couriers. Just as the letter carriers collect mail, so too do the mail couriers. Just as letter carriers deliver flyers and other "junk" mail, so too do couriers. Just as letter carriers must sort their mail within prescribed time frames in order to meet the delivery schedule of the Corporation, so too do the couriers. And just as letter carriers must return mail collected to the plant or post office within certain time frames for forwarding, so too must couriers. Finally, all follow the same rules and regulations of the Corporation dealing with the sortation, collection, delivery and handling of mail."(at pages 192-193)
Rural route mail couriers have no benefits whatsoever. Their contract
provides for an annual fee paid on a monthly basis. They provide their
own vehicles and are responsible for all expenses related to licenses,
insurance, taxes, vehicle maintenance and gas. The standard contract is
for 250 operating days per year. If couriers wish to take some vacation
time, they must find and train a replacement worker at their own expense
and the choice of the replacement worker must be approved by the Corporation.
Rural couriers are never paid overtime even when the weather or the daily
workload forces them to put in extra hours.
Letter carriers enjoy employment security while rural route couriers
do not. The latter's contracts are for five years but the relationship
can be severed unilaterally by the Corporation with a ninety day notice.
The vast majority of rural couriers work full time and have no other source
of income. The time requirements of the Corporation permit no other significant
Up until 1987, the practice was that once a person became a successful
bidder and entered into a contract with the Corporation, at the end of
the five year term, the contract would be automatically extended without
re-tendering according to terms essentially established by the Corporation.
Starting April 1987, all routes were opened for tender to the lowest bidder.
The consequence of this competition is obviously lower revenues for couriers
and even sometimes loss of the contract to a lower bidder who will often
abandon the route because he cannot meet operation expenses.
C. Recourses available to rural route couriers
In the mid 1980s, the Canada Labour Relations Board (CLRB), at the request of the Canada Post Corporation, reviewed the bargaining units at Canada Post. All unions took part in the hearings and the rural route mail carriers asked the CLRB to intervene in order that they be considered in the review conducted by the Board. Canada Post opposed the couriers' request and invoked section 13(5) of the Act in support of its position that these workers could not benefit from the provisions of the Canada Labour Code and therefore could not be included in any of the bargaining units the CLRB was about to establish in the course of the review process.
The Board heard evidence concerning the working conditions of the rural
route mail couriers and the specific nature of their ties with the Canada
Post Corporation in order to determine if they could be considered dependant
contractors and thus included in the definition of "employee" of the Canada
In its decision, the Board concluded that rural route mail couriers
were employees according to the definition of the Code. It held that they
were in a situation of total economic dependence with the Corporation,
that their work constituted, in almost all cases, their only job and that
they could not hold other employment. The CLRB concluded that rural couriers
were perfectly integrated in the Corporation's operations and that their
work was fully controlled by corporate managers.
As a result, the Board decided that rural route mail couriers were employees
who should normally be covered by the provisions of the Canada Labour Code.
It then examined the interpretation to be given to section 13(5) of the
Canada Post Corporation Act and concluded that this exclusion should not
apply to rural route mail couriers.
The Corporation filed a motion for judicial review of the decision of
the CLRB before the Federal Court of Appeal. The Court set aside the decision
of the Board stating that section 13(5) of the Act applied to rural route
mail couriers since such was the intention of Parliament when the provision
was adopted. The Federal Court of Appeal recognized that without section
13(5), the employees concerned would have benefited from all the rights
provided for in the Canada Labour Code. The Court noted that section 13(5)
was a legal fiction designed to set reality aside and that the purpose
of this provision was to deny these workers the right to collective bargaining.
The application of the union for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court
of Canada was dismissed on May 26, 1988.
Following the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal, the CLRB had
no jurisdiction to review certification procedures regarding rural route
mail couriers. Therefore, the only remaining recourse was to challenge
the constitutionality of section 13(5) of the Act.
c) freedom of association
A Statement of Claim was filed with the Federal Court of Canada by the Rural Route Mail Carriers of Canada, local 1801, by which the Plaintiffs requested a declaration that section 13(5) of the Act was contrary to section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court found that section 13(5) of the Act did not discriminate against rural route mail couriers on any of the grounds enumerated in section 15(1) of the Charter.
Article 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of association:
If a legislative provision restricts freedom of association, it is unconstitutional unless it can be demonstrated that the measure is justified in a free and democratic society.
"Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(d) freedom of association"
However, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the Charter's freedom
of association protection does not extend to collective bargaining. The
Court ruled in this case that freedom of association is not infringed upon
by legislation establishing a public service union and denying any other
union the right to bargain collectively with the employer. The employees
had not lost their right to form another union, although the legislation
precluded such a union from engaging in collective bargaining. According
to the Court, the individual's right to form an association does not guarantee
to the association the power to carry out its essential objectives nor
an activity that is a foundational or essential purpose of the association.
d) health and safety protection and compensation for occupational
injuries and illnesses
Part II of The Canada Labour Code deals with occupational health and
safety matters and is mostly focused on prevention of safety hazards. However,
these provisions apply only to employees, a term which is not defined in
this Part so as to include dependant contractors. Therefore, due to the
nature of the employment relationship between rural route mail couriers
and the Canada Post Corporation, one must conclude that rural route couriers
do not benefit from the health and safety protection provided for by the
In consequence, rural route couriers do not benefit from the same health
and safety programs as the letter carriers with whom they work side by
side in the employer's facilities. They are not represented on any health
and safety committee. They can not refuse to work when the situation or
working conditions constitute a danger to them or to other workers. The
Canada Post Corporation has no specific obligation towards rural route
couriers to ensure their safety and health at work.
Regarding compensation for injuries or diseases, employees of the Canada
Post Corporation are considered Government employees and as such are governed
by the Government Employees Compensation Act which does not extend its
protection to dependent contractors.
Indeed, Federal Parliament has exclusive legislative jurisdiction with
respect to the employment and all related conditions for those who are
in the service of the Federal Crown or who work for agents of the Federal
Crown. Thus Parliament has exclusive legislative jurisdiction with respect
to workers' compensation for Federal Government employees, including employees
of the Canada Post Corporation.
Parliament has chosen to exercise its exclusive legislative authority
over Federal Government employees by incorporating by reference the workers'
compensation available in each province to apply to Federal Government
employees working in that province. Provincial legislation may be applicable
to Federal Government employees since section 4 of the Government Employees
Compensation Act specifies that federal employees are entitled to receive
compensation at the same rate and under the same conditions as provided
for by the provincial law. Therefore, the relevant definition of employee
is the one found in the Federal Act. Unfortunately, it is limited to the
traditional concept of employee and does not include dependent contractors.
Consequently, rural route mail couriers employed by the Canada Post
Corporation who do not meet the test for the meaning of the word employee
benefit from no compensation whatsoever with respect to industrial accidents
and occupational diseases.
In this context, it is interesting to note that some provinces have
adopted legislation that applies to dependant contractors. For example,
the Quebec Act applies to dependent contractors who meet certain criteria.
If the Quebec Act extends its protection to workers in a situation similar
to that of rural route mail couriers, why shouldn't federal legislation
do the same?
V. VIOLATIONS OF NAALC PRINCIPLES AND OBLIGATIONS
A. Freedom of association
The issue raised by the present case regarding freedom of association
and the right to organize is substantially the same as the one raised before
the Supreme Court of Canada in the case P.I.P.S.C. v. N.W.T. (supra): does
the protection of freedom of association include the guarantee to pursue
the essential objectives of the association?
The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that in the context of the protection
afforded by the Canadian constitution, this guarantee is not included.
However, in the context of the NAALC, submitters contend that the issue
commands a different approach.
In the labor law context and considering the labor principles enunciated
in the NAALC, one cannot sustain that the right of association should be
formulated as a right of individuals that does not include the right of
the labor union to access certification procedures. This would miss an
important point about the purpose of the protection of the exercise of
the right of association as provided for in the NAALC.
The purpose of the right of association in the labor context is obviously
to pursue the goal of collective bargaining in order to improve terms and
conditions of work. This is even one of the stated objectives of the NAALC:
improve working conditions and living standards in each Party's territory
(Article 1). It flows from this collective aspect of the right of association
that the organization itself has rights, stemming from the exercise of
the right of association by the individuals who form and join it. The exercise
of this right requires that some measure of concerted activities be allowed
and protected, otherwise it could not serve its purposes.
In the case P.I.P.S.C. v. N.W.T. (supra), Justice Cory expressed dissenting
reasons. The following passage is relevant to the present discussion:
In the present case, rural route mail couriers are denied the right of association for the purpose of collective bargaining. This activity is not just one of the many activities of the labor union; it is its raison d'être. Most of the other activities and services performed by the trade union result from this main purpose.
"Suppose individual employees formed an association, a team, to play hockey or baseball. The Government, through the Commissioner, could say that only those teams approved at the discretion of the Government are allowed to play baseball or hockey, or even attempt to book ice time or reserve a field. The Government would still graciously permit the team members to meet whenever or wherever they liked, at which meeting they could discuss the weather or the standard of television programs. However, they could not play baseball or hockey. In those circumstances the right of employees to associate for the lawful purpose of playing baseball or hockey would have been frustrated. How much more important is the right to form an association for the purpose of collective bargaining? [...]
It follows that I cannot accept the statement of my colleague that "s. 42(1)(b) has no effect on the existence of the Institute" (p. 405) and that the union exists as long as the individuals can meet at a town hall and discuss their grievances. The hypothetical team in the example above did not exist because, while the members could meet, they could not play hockey or baseball. Similarly, a union can only exist if it is allowed to bargain collectively. That is the raison d'être of a union. In order to carry out its function of bargaining it must be recognized pursuant to the provisions of the relevant labour legislation. However, such an association or union does not "exist" under the Northwest Territories Act until it is incorporated as an "employees' association". [...]
To say that the association exists independently from its being incorporated under the legislation would be to denude the right granted by s. 2(d) of the Charter of any significance. [...]
Once a government has enacted a statutory definition of a group, as a legal entity, then any individual should be able to attempt to get his or her group recognized as such an entity, or to change the existing group entitled to exercise the rights granted under that legislative scheme.
(at pages 382-384)
Therefore, submitters maintain that when Canada denies a group of workers
the right to form a union for the purpose of collective bargaining, it
denies each member of the group the freedom of association as stated in
Section 13(5) of the Act constitutes a breach of Canada's obligation
to promote, to the maximum extent possible, the labor principle of freedom
of association (Article 1 of the NAALC).
Denying a group of workers the fundamental freedom of association for
a reason that does not serve the public interest and that is not necessary
in a democratic society certainly goes against the promotion of this basic
principle in labor law.
Being bound to protect freedom of association, governmental authorities
have the obligation to create an enabling environment in which this right
can be exercised. One must ask how a government can promote freedom of
association in private party labor relations if it does not even promote
the principle among employees under its control.
B. The right to bargain collectively
The effect and intent of section 13(5) of the Act is to deny rural route
mail couriers the possibility of bargaining collectively their terms and
conditions of employment. This constitutes a flagrant violation of Canada's
commitment to promote the guiding principle of the right to bargain collectively
found in Annex 1 of the NAALC.
Section 13(5) and the reasons for which it was enacted also constitute
a violation of the obligation to ensure that labor laws and regulations
provide for high labor standards (Article 2 of the NAALC), the obligation
to continue to strive to improve these standards (Article 2 of the NAALC)
and the obligation to promote improvement of working conditions and living
standards in Canada's territory (Article 1 of the NAALC).
We have seen that the only reason for which rural route mail couriers
are denied the right to bargain collectively is to keep costs down for
the Canada Post Corporation. Canadian authorities do not seem to be concerned
that the result is maintaining poor working conditions and living standards
for rural route mail couriers. By denying these workers the right to bargain
collectively and by using a tendering process in which they must compete
with each other or with anybody else, Canada is making sure that rural
couriers will never enjoy high labor standards or be able improve those
standards by negotiating terms of employment with the Canada Post Corporation
that resemble those of their colleagues in urban areas.
C. Elimination of employment discrimination
Canada has the obligation under the NAALC to promote the elimination of employment discrimination on such grounds as race, religion, age, sex or other grounds, subject to certain reasonable exceptions such as, where applicable, bona fide occupational requirements or qualifications and established practices or rules governing retirement ages, and special measures of protection or assistance for particular groups designed to take into account the effects of discrimination (Labor principle # 7).
In the present case, section 13(5) of the Act denies a number of rights
and protective measures contained in the Canada Labour Code to a group
of workers on the basis of their occupational status and/or whether they
are rural or urban workers. These grounds for discrimination are neither
reasonable exceptions, nor bona fide occupational requirements that justify
the breach of this fundamental principle of elimination of employment discrimination.
We have seen that no reasons were given by Canadian governmental authorities
that could explain and excuse this discrimination.
D. Canada's obligations under ILO Conventions
Of the six ILO conventions governing freedom of association and collective
bargaining, Canada has ratified only the Freedom of Association and Protection
of the Right to Organize Convention #87 of 1948, leaving unratified Convention
98 on the right to bargain collectively (ratified by 138 countries), Convention
135 on workers' representatives, Convention 141 on rural workers and Convention
151 on labor relations in the public service as well as Convention 154
on the promotion of collective bargaining.
One might reasonably expect that a country like Canada, who has committed
itself under the NAALC to promote the principles of freedom of association
and the right to bargain collectively as well as to strive to improve its
labor standards, would have ratified at least the six ILO Conventions on
association and bargaining rights.
Nonetheless, Canada is bound by the provisions included in these conventions
since all member states must honor the freedom of association and collective
bargaining principles embedded in the ILO constitution.
Reports of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA), which
examines complaints submitted against member states alleging non conformity
with ILO principles, offers an excellent source of international law that
can be used to interpret the scope of the principles Canada is committed
to promote under the NAALC.
Article 2 of Convention 87, which was ratified by Canada, states that:
Article 10 defines the term "organisation" as any organisation of workers or of employers for furthering and defending the interests of workers or of employers.
"Workers and employers, without distinction whatsoever, shall have the right to establish and, subject only to the rules of the organisation concerned, to join organisations of their own choosing without previous autorisation".
Article 7 provides that:
As a general principle, the CFA has stated that Article 2 of Convention 87 is designed to articulate the principle of non-discrimination in trade union matters. It has also stated that the words "without distinction whatsoever" used in this article mean that freedom of association should be guaranteed without discrimination of any kind based on occupation, sex, color, race, beliefs, nationality, political opinion, etc., not only for workers in the private sector, but also for civil servants and public service employees in general.
"The acquisition of legal personality by workers' and employers' organisations, federations and confederations shall not be made subject to conditions of such a character as to restrict the application of the provisions of Articles 2, 3 and 4 hereof.
Regarding collective bargaining, the CFA has stated that the right to
bargain freely with employers concerning working conditions constitutes
an essential element of freedom of association. Therefore trade unions
should have the right, through collective bargaining or other lawful means,
to seek to improve the living and working conditions of those they represent.
Public authorities should refrain from any interference which would restrict
this right or impede the lawful exercise thereof. Any such interference
would appear to infringe the principle that workers' and employers' organizations
should have the right to organize their activities and to formulate their
As well, the CFA considers that measures should be taken to encourage
and promote the full development and use of mechanisms for voluntary negotiation
between employers and workers' organizations, with a view to regulate the
terms and conditions of employment by means of collective agreements.
It should be noted that the relationship between freedom of association
and the right to collective bargaining is a question which was raised before
the ILO on many occasions, and the importance of their interrelation was
recognized without hesitation.
In conclusion, it is obvious that Canada is in breach of its obligations
under ILO Conventions towards rural route mail couriers.
E. Prevention of and compensation for occupational injuries and illnesses
Under the NAALC, Canada is expected to promote, to the maximum extent
possible, the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses. It is
also expected to continue to strive to improve labor standards, including
compensation for work related injuries and illnesses. Canada has failed
to provide either for rural route mail couriers.
Any other dependant contractor has the possibility of obtaining health
and safety protections through the negotiation process under federal law.
Indeed, any other dependant contractor has access to collective bargaining
under the terms of the Canada Labour Code. Preventive measures or representation
on a health and safety committee may be provided for in a collective agreement.
In that regard, it should be noted that postal workers employed by the
Canada Post Corporation who are represented by the Canadian Union of Postal
Workers enjoy extensive negotiated protections.
Therefore, denying rural route mail couriers the right to organize and
bargain collectively has the effect of denying any possibility of obtaining
protection against work related accidents and occupational diseases.
Furthermore, because the Federal Parliament has chosen not to extend
compensation for occupational injuries to dependant contractors, rural
route mail couriers suffer considerable disadvantages with respect to their
unionized colleagues. Not only is the Corporation free from any obligation
regarding the prevention of accidents and diseases, but if such occupational
accidents or illnesses occur, workers are not compensated.
This situation is in total contradiction with the principles outlined
in the NAALC.
VI. ACTION REQUESTED
Submitters request that the U.S. NAO undertake a review of the labor
law matters arising in Canada, as outlined in this public communication.
In this regard, submitters ask that the U.S. NAO hold public hearings where
the case may be presented in greater detail, with direct testimony from
rural route mail couriers. The NAO of Canada, officials of the Canada Post
Corporation involved in this case as well as representatives of the Canadian
Government should participate in such hearings.
Submitters ask that the U.S. NAO request cooperative consultations with
the NAO of Canada under Article 21 of the NAALC with regards to the matters
outlined in this public communication so that the NAOs may better understand
and respond to the issues raised.
Submitters request that Ministerial Consultations be held under Article
22 of the NAALC to resolve matters raised in this public communication,
including exchange of information, to permit a complete examination of
Submitters request that the US NAO urge the Canadian Government to repeal
section 13(5) of the Canada Post Corporation Act in order to give full
force and effect to the fundamental freedom of association and right to
bargain collectively of rural route mail couriers employed by Canada Post
Submitters request that the Secretariat of the Commission for Labor
Cooperation undertake a report pursuant to Article 14(2) of the NAALC on
the following subjects:
Submitted December 2nd, 1998.
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