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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:35 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have to say to the House, and anybody out there who is watching, that I am not allowed to give opinions any more. The Law Society of Upper Canada has told people like myself who have withdrawn from practice not to give opinions.

Having said that, the reality though is that I do not think the current law would be unconstitutional. In the case of the decision that came out of British Columbia, the government there was tearing up a contract. There is no contract here. That is obvious. It has expired. That is the difference in that case.

I do not see a constitutional argument here at all or a Charter of Rights and Freedoms argument.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:35 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are here today, this evening, tonight, to debate a bill that is totally premature. It is truly our duty, as the opposition, to object strenuously to this piece of legislation.

I live in a lovely riding far from Ottawa. We have many extremely proud residents. We have fishermen and artists. We have aboriginal communities, the Mi'kmaq in particular. We are independent, but we also stand united. Because of our remoteness from large urban centres, we understand what solidarity truly means. We depend on our neighbours, on our business people. Each of them has a place, and each of them makes an invaluable contribution.

When a member of our community is wronged, we all lose. We depend on their services; we depend on every taxpayer and every public servant. We depend on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The closure of the rescue centres in Quebec City and Newfoundland and Labrador will cost us dearly. The government seems to be saying that those who live in the regions are less important.

In the regions, we depend on our port infrastructure. It worries us when the government tries to convince municipalities to assume responsibility for ports, when they cannot afford to maintain or even improve them. We depend on Environment Canada. We expect the minister to fulfill his role when public health is at risk, when outside companies come in to exploit our natural resources without seeking the consensus of our communities.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:40 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I understand that we are debating Bill C-6 this morning. I did not realize that it would maybe turn into a Friday free-for-all. The member has not yet mentioned the bill in question that we are debating in his presentation. Perhaps he could get to the subject at hand.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would urge the hon. member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine to keep his remarks to the motion before the House.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:40 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

I am coming to that, Mr. Speaker. I began by speaking about Bill C-6 and I will continue to speak about it. I am trying to provide some context.

I was saying that this same spirit leads us to support letter carriers in their demands. We are a united people. Post offices are the cornerstones of our communities in the regions. They are indispensable for communication between communities. We depend on them for affordable communications, to communicate amongst ourselves and to communicate with other Quebeckers and other Canadians. It is an essential service and the daily prejudice that we are subject to is intolerable.

The letter carriers in our communities understand that we depend on their services. They have never failed to give us excellent service. Throughout their negotiations with Canada Post, they continued to sort and deliver our mail. It is easy to understand why. These people are part of our community. They are our brothers, sisters and neighbours. They are just as much a part of our community as our other constituents. They know that, without them, we all lose.

Right now families cannot communicate with one another. Small and medium-sized businesses are having a hard time getting paid for services they have provided. Seniors are not receiving their benefits. Unemployed people are having a hard time receiving their benefits. The workers are not the ones preventing the mail from being delivered. During the negotiations, they made sure that the mail was delivered. It was the employer, Canada Post, that declared a lockout. The Conservative government is the one trying to force them back to work. Canada Post Corporation—a crown corporation—and our government seem to have forgotten that the workers offered to go back to work. What is worse, the bill before us would impose a lower salary offer.

I want to quote a statement from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:

The bill legislates wage increases that fall significantly below Canada Post’s last offer of 1.9% in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and 2.0 % in 2014. The law includes increases of 1.75 % in 2011, 1.5% in 2012, 2% in 2013 and 2% in 2014. This would take $875.50 out of the pockets of an average full-time postal worker during the four years of the agreement. It represents a theft of $35 million from postal workers and their families.

It is shameful. Postal workers work hard to guarantee a good, reliable, profitable service, a crown corporation service that generates a profit for the Canadian government. It is a corporation that provides an essential service, and that is able to do so reliably and even generate a profit. Should we not rather get the workers involved, motivate them, and show them we appreciate them by giving them an appropriate salary that reflects their contribution? We should also protect their pensions. Questions must be asked.

Our Canada Post Corporation employees in the regions provide exceptional service. They know us and we know them. They want to do their best to help us but the government wants to decrease their salaries and reduce the services.

I will quote the Canadian Union of Postal Workers once again:

On Saturday, September 12, 2009, the federal Conservatives quietly announced a Canadian Postal Service Charter that outlines the government’s expectations for Canada Post in regard to service standards and other matters.

The Charter largely reiterates existing policy and includes an expectation that Canada Post will maintain “the moratorium on the closure of rural post offices.”

The Charter also acknowledges that providing postal services to rural areas is an integral part of universal postal service.

While it’s a good start, the Charter isn’t altogether reasonable.

Retirement, illness, death, or the corporation's infrastructure—for example, the termination of a lease or even a fire—“may, nevertheless, affect the ongoing operation of a post office.”

Rural post offices are threatened. The post offices of , Quebec's Gaspé region have a long history. I would like to share some facts provided by Daniel Arpin, a philatelist. In 1705, in the territory we now call Canada, a postal service between Quebec City, Trois-Rivières and Montreal was established by the French regime. That same year, a postal service was established in New Carlisle—in my riding—in the Gaspé. In 1763, the service fell under the control of the British Empire and was managed by Benjamin Franklin. In February 1851, the New Carlisle postmaster created his own stamp, an unauthorized stamp, one that is much sought after by stamp collectors.

All that to say that the postal service has a long history in Canada and the Gaspé. Postal services are vital to our communities, but they are continually being whittled away. Rural mailboxes are being replaced by superboxes. Increasingly, we find ourselves collecting the mail on the side of the road, in places that could be dangerous. We are distancing ourselves from the rural post office that serves a community meeting place, and which is often the only place that flies the Canadian flag. It is considered a cultural symbol representing Canada in the region.

The new philosophy is no longer based on providing service, and services are now being curtailed and eliminated.This philosophy leads to the reduction of services in communities and the erosion of workers' rights. It makes life difficult for my constituents, for small and medium-sized businesses. We must support our fellow workers against attacks by this intolerable bill. We will do all we can to oppose it.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:45 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the debates most of the night. I think it may be time to put the sequence of events into a little bit of context.

We know we have a lockout. We know we have disruption of the postal service. However, when the negotiations started it went on for some time with no resolve. As a result, it was the union that decided to start some rotating strikes in order to get the attention of Canada Post, and that is what they did.

Although rotating strikes may sound fairly neutral in their effect, in fact they really disrupt the postal service across Canada. The corporation does not know where it is going to happen next and it cannot prepare for it.

That had happened, and it was the union that started the rotating strikes. The post office said that did not work for it so it would lock the workers out and maybe that would get some results. That has not happened.

I understand the NDP's allegiance to the unions. They are their biggest supporters. The NDP always has to side with them. But let us put into context the sequence of events as they happened.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:50 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

I would like to thank the member for his comments. I really did not hear any questions, however.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

It was a comment.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:50 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, as far as the comment is concerned, I am pleased that the member is able to present a certain sequence of events. I think the important one there is that the employees have been locked out. The government has taken note of this.

I think it is very important that we recognize that postal services have come to a complete and utter stop. Until collective bargaining is put back into place so that the two parties can come to a proper solution between the two of them and we and the government can go back to our respective homes, and we in Quebec can actually celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste, we have to sit here and debate a law project that we should never have been presented with in the first place.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:50 a.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thought that was a very interesting speech by my colleague from Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, a part of the country that I visited four years ago.

I found it particularly interesting that he spoke about the small isolated communities with great distances between them. That is a very important aspect of life in those communities. He spoke specifically about small villages where the post office used to occupy a central position. We are talking about bargaining and reaching an agreement. What about the impact of a decent wage and a worthwhile retirement in the future?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:50 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question, which is a matter of great concern for us outside the urban centres.

In those areas, a wage and a pension are essential. People outside urban centres are often disadvantaged, when compared to others. These are not big cities, and the economy does not develop at the same rate as in the major urban centres. People depend to a very large extent on each family member who has a job and the opportunity to have a pension and a good life after working at their job for many years. It is essential for us that all our jobs and our workers be protected and that we make sure that wages are commensurate with the need and the contribution made.

The bill that is before us is a disastrous and draconian step backwards and we will not tolerate it.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:50 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask about solutions again. That is what Canadians who are involved in the lockout and those who are looking for a resumption of service need.

What could be done to address the most controversial elements? What overtures have the postal workers made? What action could government take to find new ways to improve the relationship between labour and management in the 21st century in terms of looking for solutions?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:50 a.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

I certainly think the first step would be to stop defining a lockout as a strike. We should definitely be looking at realities as plain as day.

We are attacking workers for having attempted to exercise their legal right to strike and their legal right to put pressure on their employer. I do not think that is a tactic that should be lost in the 21st century. It is a right that is enshrined in our Constitution. The Constitution is something that we are going to continue to defend, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 3:55 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, at this rare hour it is my first opportunity to debate in this new Parliament. I am not pleased that I have to debate this particular issue, but I am happy that Parliament is making the effort to look at this issue. It is a very serious and important issue to many people across the country, especially in my riding in the Northwest Territories, where postal service has been an essential part of the communications system for far-flung communities over thousands of miles.

As my colleague mentioned in his case in Quebec, community post offices are very important and serve a function that in many ways goes beyond simply business service and becomes part of the culture of the community. Many join with their friends at the post office because there is no door-to-door delivery in the Northwest Territories. People go to post offices to get mail from their mailboxes. It is an experience that brings people together.

In many respects, many of these communities absolutely need the service. There was a case in Colville Lake last Christmas. The chief of Colville Lake was working with me to try to get COD service for his community so that people could acquire gifts for their children after buying them online. Those types of services for northern communities are limited but extremely important. What happens with the post office means a lot to northerners.

Let us look at this move by the government and what it means. The Government of Canada really is the boss of the post office and through its crown corporation runs the post office. We have heard the Prime Minister say in question period that he wants to offer a wage settlement to the postal workers in the same way it was offered to other public servants. The government knows that its responsibility for the postal service is quite large.

What has the government done in the north in the last number of years in terms of policy with Canada Post? One thing it has done, which has turned out to be an abysmal failure, is the revision of the food mail program. The food mail program was an essential public service to northerners across this vast land. People needed it to provide them with the basic essentials of life.

With the Conservatives having privatized this service to select businesses, there is a situation where the opportunities for people to take advantage of food mail have been severely curtailed. Protests have gone up around the north. The Conservatives' policy changes to privatize an essential part of the northern service of Canada Post has been nothing short of abysmal.

Northerners do not have a system that works now and it is essential that this be changed. People are going hungry. People are not getting the proper food. This is not working. When changes are made to the postal service and the kinds of things that it provides, there are sometimes very serious results.

When we talk about the relationship between the postal corporation and its employees, we are talking about a very serious matter that can affect many of the things that go on in this country. I really do not want the postal service denigrated to any greater extent than it already has been for the people in isolated communities right across this country.

Are these people simply a drain on the public purse? No.

Quite clearly, the resources which are driving the recovery that we see in the country come from the isolated regions. Our regions are important to the future of Canada. We need good services. We need services that work for us. We need public services that are fair.

My concern with the actions of the government early in the term of its first majority is that it is trying to take on this essential public service and force it down, to take the wind out of its sails and change this into something else, as it did with the food mail with an incredible result.

When I first came to Parliament, the Conservative government, led by the Prime Minister, had a great friend in John Howard. The Conservatives brought him here and he spoke in Parliament. It was clear that the Prime Minister liked Mr. Howard a lot. In fact, he liked him so much that he took some of his speeches and gave them in other places. That was quite entertaining for many of us who could recognize the problem he had with his great friendship with John Howard.

The Howard government took on workers in its country very successfully at the start. It was very successful at the start. This is a word of caution to the Conservative government. The Howard government was very successful at taking little bites at the rights of workers. Then, toward the end of its time, it took too big a bite.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Was it a megabyte?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

It was a bigger bite than he could chew and now Mr. Howard is enjoying a forced retirement. He is out of government and he has been replaced.

For the Conservative government which is starting off its majority by taking this rather draconian action against the workers of the country, take this as notice. If this is the members' start on the Howard road, we will be after them throughout this Parliament, and when it comes to the next election, if they continue down this road, they will end up in the same place as John Howard, in the dustbin of politics.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4 a.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, sitting here after 4 a.m. is always a bit of a surprise.

I listened quite closely to what the hon. member had to say and I know he represents a very large rural area. He visited the beautiful Thousand Islands in my riding of Leeds—Grenville last summer.

In a news report just a couple of days ago, the local CUPW union representative said: “We want to deliver the mail especially in a small town like Gananoque where there are a lot of elderly residents and small businesses that rely on us for their mail”. She also went on to say that she had hoped the labour minister's legislative motion to put them back to work would be passed.

The hon. member mentioned in his presentation how important the mail is in rural ridings. Are those important considerations and does he believe that unions are always correct?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, do I think unions are always correct? No, I do not.

However, do I think that the process of collective bargaining, where two bodies have the opportunity to interact, is a good process? Yes, I do. That is the process we use in this country.

We did not see much impact from the rotating work action that was taken by the union. It did not upset our service in the Northwest Territories. What we have seen though, with the lockout, is obviously a major disruption. Emails and complaints have flowed to me since the lockout. People were not too concerned about the rotating work actions that the union took because those were reasonable steps.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4:05 a.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting that the member talked about the importance of the mail being delivered to the north. As well, he talks about the union members as if they are the only workers. I am a business owner as are many of my friends and we hire bookkeepers, receptionists, groundskeepers and cleaners. These are all people who are average workers. We depend on the mail. Our businesses depend on the mail. What is the member going to say to these average workers when they cannot get paid any longer and they lose their jobs because our businesses are going under?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4:05 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I would tell them to look at the Conservative government that would not tell the postal corporation not to have a lockout.

What is wrong with the government? Why was it silent in this regard? That is what I would say to people.

When it comes to the importance of Canada Post, yes, I do not think we have had one disagreement in this Parliament about the importance of Canada Post, but what we have had is a major disagreement about the failure of the government to stand up and tell management it cannot act in this rather ridiculous fashion.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4:05 a.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from the north on his expression of how important postal service is to our northern communities and remote communities. I have had the chance to work with him on the food mail file and I would like to hear how he sees what happened when the government unilaterally took away the food mail contract and gave it to the northern stores. Does he feel that action and others against Canada Post may be part of a more general pattern or direction along with the draconian legislation that we have before us here, a direction that leads only to privatization?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4:05 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development wrote an excellent report on the food mail and I hope the government looks at it because the situation with food mail has to change. We cannot simply go on with the policy the way it has been outlined. It is not working.

If we do not have changes, we will have problems. I appeal to the government to get busy and change that policy. It is not working.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4:05 a.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by telling the House and everyone who is listening how very proud I am to see my party standing up so unswervingly and with such determination for the rights of workers. I am honoured to stand in the House and speak for the workers who live in my riding, and for all Canadians from sea to sea.

I find it very hard to accept a government that is turning back the clock on the quality of life for workers and their families, a government that is turning the clock back significantly for our society, with such archaic and quite simply irresponsible measures.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, without exception, is being penalized by this lockout at present. Yes, it is a lockout, not a strike, because, let us remember, the Canada Post employees themselves were prepared to return to work. The union has acted completely responsibly. It offered to end the strike if Canada Post agreed to keep the old contract while bargaining continued. Canada Post refused. Let us also remember that urgent mail was being delivered during the rotating strike. It was the employer, and no one else, that decided to lock the employees out and simply put a padlock on the postal service doors. That is easier than bargaining. That is the real explanation for why Canadian individuals and businesses are no longer getting their mail.

The government is truly acting in bad faith. All it wants to do is impose a labour contract on employees, which I find completely unacceptable. That is not at all a government's responsibility. A government should instead be concerned about the quality of life of its citizens. But that is clearly not the case here. What the government is doing does not give both sides an opportunity to reach an agreement.

The government is once again siding with the employer and with the CEO of Canada Post, who made $497,000 in 2010, not to mention a 33% bonus. What a perfect example of just how similar the Conservatives are to their Republican counterparts in the Tea Party in the U.S.

Employees are simply asking for better working conditions for a better quality of life for themselves and, by extension, their families. They are fighting for more job security, an entirely legitimate demand. They are fighting for a decent wage for all so that everyone can pay their bills, feed their families and enjoy life. They, too, have the right to enjoy life.

They are fighting for the right to retire with dignity. Everyone deserves a rest, especially after working for many years. Nothing could be more irresponsible than the unilateral legislation being proposed by the government. The government is flouting the right to negotiate a collective agreement and, furthermore, is proposing even lower wages than Canada Post's offer.

Is that really the kind of country we want? Do we really want a government that flouts the rights of workers? If we let the government behave this way with Canada Post workers, what will happen next? Whose rights will be violated? Children? Women? The elderly? Aboriginals? People with disabilities? Which rights will be next?

Personally, I find this extremely troubling. This debate is not just about mail carriers, it is also about safeguarding workers' rights to negotiate a collective agreement, an entirely legitimate demand. A negotiation is between two parties. In this case, however, only the union has behaved responsibly. Canadians have fought too long and too hard for a fair and equitable working environment. They fought tirelessly for adequate wages and benefits so they could support their families. The government must stop meddling in this situation and telling workers to take even more steps backward.

It is important to keep in mind that Canada Post belongs to all Canadians. We share a collective responsibility to ensure that our workers are treated fairly, because Canada Post has a mandate to provide postal service across the country. Everyone needs those services: citizens, small businesses and community agencies. We are lucky to have the best postal service in the world. The elderly need to receive their pension cheques so they can live. Small businesses need to send out their invoices so they can continue to operate.

Organizations must continue to receive their grant funding so they can continue to deliver services and pay employees. The government is looking to dismantle and privatize this service. That decision would have serious consequences for all Canadians. There is no—I repeat—no solution where the private sector could fulfill the mandate of Canada Post. On the contrary, we would pay much more for inferior service.

In Germany, for instance, citizens pay 77¢ to send a letter. In Austria, they pay 88¢. Why? Both countries have a privatized mail system. Here, where it costs just 59¢ to send a letter, the public option is far and away the best solution.

This is a government that opposes public postal service for purely ideological reasons. Its true motive is clear: maximize corporate profits, at the expense of workers yet again.

The employer argues that it cannot afford to agree to the workers' demands. They are too costly, too expensive. That is odd, especially given that Canada Post generated revenues in the neighbourhood of $281 million last year. It makes you think.

In closing, I would ask you to think about this and to ask yourselves some questions. Where are we headed with a government that is not even able to protect the interests of workers or their families? Where are we headed with a government that does not care about giving Canadians a better quality of life? Where are we headed with a government that puts profits above all else? Where are we headed with a government that scoffs at democracy when it is convenient? My fellow Canadians, is that really what you want? Is that the future of your country, our country? I say no. You deserve better, a lot better.

We, the NDP, will not give up. We will fight for the rights of workers, so they can have a decent wage, so they can have a safe working environment and so they can retire with dignity.

We will fight for a country where no one—I repeat, no one—is left by the wayside.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4:15 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to be here this evening working on behalf my constituents.

I stand with 165 members of the strong, stable, national Conservative majority government who ran on a pledge to be here for Canada, and here we are defending the rights of every Canadian worker. Is that not interesting?

It seems, from what I am hearing from the NDP this evening, that working families have a union card and everyone else does not work. That seems to be what I am hearing. What I seem to be hearing is to heck with small business; we are not worried about them. To heck with the economy; if that stops, it does not matter. Let us just be irresponsible. Let us take our marching orders from the big union bosses who will not even allow a vote from their membership. The tyranny, the intimidation--women working at Canada Post are afraid to say anything other than, “I will fall in line. Sure, I will follow the big union boss who will not allow me to vote on contract offers.”

That is what she is fighting for. Is she proud of it?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

June 24th, 4:15 a.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

I would remind you that it was the employer who locked out the employees and shut down postal service; it was not the employees who decided to stop delivering the mail.