Thursday May 3 2018

You’ve probably heard about Canada Post Corporation’s (CPC) unilateral and immediate decision to have all outside delivery workers wear the high-visibility vest, even those who already carry the high-visibility (red) double satchel. You may be wondering where this comes from.

The Story So Far

On December 24, 2014, a brother in Edmonton was struck by a car while getting out of a Canada Post vehicle. After that incident, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) served CPC with an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance. In January 2015, CPC responded to ESDC that they would require all delivery workers across the country to wear high-visibility vests.
At the 2015 May-June meeting of the National Joint Health and Safety Committee (NJHSC), the Corporation told us, “CPC confirms that when the (red) high-visibility satchel is used on a foot route, it is not necessary to wear the high-visibility vest, since the satchel meets industry standards.” The vest was intended to be a temporary solution while the NJHSC and the National Joint Uniform Committee consulted on a range of high-visibility garments.
But in late 2017, a letter carrier in the eastern part of the country was struck by a car while delivering a foot route. It was after this that the Corporation changed the policy.
In an email, the Corporation acknowledged that “several employees have been hit by vehicles in recent months and suffered serious injuries. Some of the incidents occurred in residential areas, on marked crosswalks and on CPC property.” Canada Post then told CUPW that all delivery workers from coast to coast would be required to wear a high-visibility vest even when using the (red) high-visibility satchel.
The change in policy was imposed unilaterally, and we’ve taken up that issue with Canada Post with no response to date from the Corporation.
When the 2014 accident occurred, both committees were already discussing having a high-visibility polo shirt made. The Corporation notified us on April 30 that the polo is finally ready to be released. CUPW also pointed out that other clothing items, such as coats and parkas, should be altered to meet the high-visibility standard. So far, nothing has been done in this regard.
We will keep you informed of any future developments.
In Solidarity,
Marc Roussel
National Union Representative – Health and Safety