Canada Post employees allege firing unfair

Sueann Musick
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NEW GLASGOW – The union supporting Canada Post employees say two workers have been fired unfairly over a health and safety issue.

Kevin Peterson, president of the Local CUPW, said Thursday during a day of action protest in front of the New Glasgow post office, Elizabeth Koszkulics and Joan Mabey, two longtime employees of the New Glasgow office, were fired in October following a police investigation into a damage of property complaint.

“What is all boils down to is health and safety concerns,” he said. “There is a safety curtain that divides the dock and it is supposed to be see-through. It has gotten so dirty over the years that we couldn’t see through it and people were getting more and more concerned.”

Peterson said the issue had been brought up at several health and safety meetings and documented in the minutes that it would be replaced this spring, but so far the same curtain is in place.

“Enough is enough is what it boils down to,” he said, adding the two fired women were accused of altering the curtain without Canada Post approval. “The employees are accused of taking action into their own hands. Somehow the curtain involved them getting charged and fired.”

The woman will have their first appearance in Pictou provincial court on Jan. 4 on a mischief charge. The alleged offence occurred Oct. 13 at the New Glasgow office. 

Peterson said as union president he supports the two women and he hopes the day of action will bring attention to the situation.

“We are in Pictou County and we have known about the importance of health and safety since 1992,” he said. “We stand by it and we are just asking Canada Post to do the same. If the workers can learn, so can the corporations.”

Anick Loiser of Canada Post said the company has formal processes to address any health and safety issues and encourage its employees to raise any potential issues through the proper channels.

The company says that process involves both local management and the union and is in place in workplaces across the country. As well, employees also have a right to refuse work they feel is unsafe, as per collective agreements.

“An industrial room separator designed to regulate temperature within the building was recently damaged and police have been involved.  Unfortunately, it would be inappropriate for us to further comment on a personnel matter.”

Organizations: Canada Post

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • Mark Habel
    December 17, 2015 - 00:26

    I’m really interested how this plays out. From the legal point of view on can ask what have they done to deserve the ultimate punishment? By no means I am taking the sides here without knowing all the facts but I know from personal experience that our management is lacking integrity and basic communication skills.

  • carl mill
    November 27, 2015 - 19:45

    I did not know the new Glasgow post office was still open I thought our mail came in from Halifax.by horse and wagon.

  • Johnny Mac
    November 27, 2015 - 15:56

    Looks like it could have been easily cleaned, instead the staff decided to destroy company property and got themselves fired. Sorry but this seems like a friable offence

  • Jackie maybee
    November 27, 2015 - 11:10

    Power to the people !! Sisters and brothers unite

  • gail
    November 27, 2015 - 10:18

    Sounds like these employees were attempting to abate a safety hazard after they realized management was not going to take care of this safety issue. While the contract may indicate an employee does not have to follow a supervisor's orders if it could create a safety hazard, it is equally important to correct or abate a safety hazard especially if it could result in injury to yourself or others. I'm surprised the supervisors and managers involved were not fired or disiplined for their failure to correct this safety issue. Their inaction appears to have contributed to certain employees having to deal with the safety issue.

  • Bud Mosher
    November 27, 2015 - 09:31

    If this was documented so many times, Canada Post will have to answer to their own total disregard for employee safety. Oh!! Wait a minute , they are Canada Post and are above the law! Good Luck and I hope you both are reinstated as a Christmas Gift.

  • Steven Nikulak
    November 27, 2015 - 08:34

    Worked for Canada Post from before they were a Crown Corp til just a few yr's ago. The word was always handle it yourselves in the case of health and safety. That was until health and safety was so legislated and then it would take forever to get something resolved. As these individuals are long timers, who got frustrated to the point of taking action in order to protect themselves the Crown has no one to blame but it's self. A sad world we live in when people who are just protecting themselves from the neglect of others who are charged with the responsibility of safety. If the cold shield had been replaced as promised than this would not have happened.