Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, there have been all kinds of promises to effectively address climate change, but sadly, the fact is that our greenhouse gas emissions increased significantly in 2015. Let us not forget the promise to restore home mail delivery. All this brings us back to Canada Post and its refusal to bargain a fair and equitable collective agreement with its CUPW members.
Let us examine the facts. There are many facts to look at in this conflict. Workplace injuries at Canada Post have increased by 43% over the last two years, largely as a result of Canada Post's transformation, which requires workers to walk longer routes carrying heavier loads. It is not just letters. It is letters and parcels. Some parcels can be quite large and quite heavy.
Today the disabling injury rate for a letter carrier is five times the rate of the rest of the federal public sector. Just imagine if our workplace were such that it jeopardized our physical and emotional well-being. When CUPW president Mike Palecek asked his members about injuries, in a couple of hours he received more than 450 responses. The stories are quite heartbreaking. I would like to give members a sense of the kinds of things CUPW members are facing.
One young woman writes that she tripped and fell on an icy sidewalk. She was seriously injured, and it took several months for her to get back to work after having received physiotherapy. When she went back, she was supposed to be on light duty. Despite that, she was harassed by her manager to do more and more heavier work. As a result, she was re-injured, and she has not been able to get back to work. She has small children who are depending on her ability to earn a living.
Another individual reported that he fell and landed on his right knee. He twisted his left knee in the process, and now he has severe arthritis in both. He was accommodated at the plant, but that accommodation has not worked out, and as a result, he cannot work. He cannot work the way he had intended, and he has many years ahead of him in terms of his working life.
This means that not only are these people injured but they cannot provide for their families in the way they had expected, and quite simply, families are suffering. I cannot begin to explain how important it is for the government to understand that this strike is about not just money but about the well-being of families and CUPW members. It is about their health and safety, and that should matter.
We hear other stories about workers being sent out on nights, not unlike tonight, to wear headlamps to find their way over dark, slippery snowbanks and snow covered sidewalks. If a worker cannot finish a route in eight hours, that worker is sent back out to finish delivering the mail. The fact is that people cannot work 10, 12 or 14 hours a day, as we heard from people in the gallery.
The government has chosen to come to the aid of Canada Post instead of the aid of CUPW workers. Before I ask my questions, I would like to quote once against from Dru Oja Jay and his observations about this strike. He said, “Every successful strike has to pass through a storm of negative media coverage and worse. It's no different for Canada Post employees. They're striking for their own health and safety. They're endlessly overworked, and they're frequently injured. They have a plan for transforming Canada Post into an engine for economic and environmental transition. They're also bargaining for equal pay for rural mail carriers, who are not paid the same rate as their urban counterparts.”
In some cases, they receive no money at all for work done, simply because it does not fit into the four or six hours that Canada Post has determined for a mail route.
I do indeed have some questions for the minister. I would like to know if the minister is aware that the injury rate for postal workers is more than five times that of other federal workers. Does the minister condone the perpetuation of this unsafe reality in the workplace at Canada Post?