Mail and Female - Women and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Click to open expanded view

Mail & Female

Women and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers

By: Julie White

Mail & Female: Women and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is an original contribution to women's and labour studies in Canada. CUPW changed from refusing women membership in the union in the late 1950s to its present position where its collective agreement is regarded as one of the most progressive for women. This book documents and analyzes these changes.

ISBN 978-1-55077-008-7
Edition First
Year 1990
Page Count 220

$ 19.95


In Mail & Female, Julie White chronicles and analyzes changes at the Post Office during the thirty years prior to the merger between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Letter Carriers Union of Canada in January 1989. She focuses on CUPW activities and changes during a period which saw both inside workers and postal managers move from thinking of post office jobs as men's work to jobs no longer characterized in gender-specific terms.

Table of Contents

Women's Work in The Post Office and the Union's Reaction

  • Women Full-time Workers
  • Women Part-time Workers
  • Cheap Labour
  • Unskilled Labour
  • Female Labour
  • The Use of Part-time Work in the Post Office
  • Labour Relations in the Post Office
  • The Canadian Postal Employees Association
  • Union Reaction to Part-time Work
  • From the Part-time Workers' Point of View
  • Casual Women Workers
  • Summary and Conclusions
Union Changes After 1965: Changing Union Policy
  • Organizing the Part-time Workers
  • Initial Negotiations
  • Part-time Workers in the Union
  • Understanding the Change in Attitude
The 1970s Context
  • Automation
  • The Public Service Staff Relations Act
  • The Economic Climate
The Coder Dispute 1972
  • 1974: Coders And Women
  • The Dispute — The Beginning of the Dispute
  • Meetings with Management
  • The Legal Route
  • Mobilizing the Membership
  • The Struggle Continues
  • The Solution
  • The Union's Motivation in the Coder Dispute
Bargaining Equality for Part-time Workers
  • Pay and Classification
  • The First Collective Agreement
  • Breakthrough in 1974
  • Equality, 1975
  • Benefits and Conditions of Work
  • Seniority
  • Why the Union Bargained for Equality — Protecting Full-time Work
  • Justice and Equality — Equality and Solidarity
  • The Part-time Workers
Bargaining Restrictions on Part-time Work:
  • Restrictions on Casual Workers
  • Restrictions on Part-time Workers
  • The Number of Part-time Workers
  • Negotiating Restrictions
  • CUPW's Reasons for Restrictions — Union Strength
  • Involuntary Part-time Work
  • Excessive Use of Part-time
  • The Perspective of Part-time Workers
  • Conclusion
The Post Office in the 1980s
  • Working at the Post Office
  • Technological Change
  • Mismanagement
  • The Supervision
  • Specific Issues
  • Absenteeism
  • Sick Leave
  • Special Leave
  • Union Activity
  • Conclusion
Paid Maternity Leave
  • Negotiations 1981
  • The Growing Debate on Maternity Leave and Benefits
  • Maternity Leave in the CUPW
  • Conclusion
Women's Issues Inside the Union
  • Women's Participation in the Union
  • Facts and Figures
  • Women's Issues within the Union
  • Beginnings
  • Women's Committees and Caucuses
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Child Care
  • Union Education
  • The CUPW's Reaction to Women's Issues
  • The Role of Women
  • The Union Leadership
  • Democratic Process
  • Women's Perspectives
  • Women's Issues Are Worker's Issues
  • Women's Issues Are Women's Issues
  • Women's Participation in the Union
  • Still to be Dealt With
  • In the Contract
  • In the Union
  • Conclusion

About the Author

Julie White

Julie White is the author of Women and Unions and Women and Part-time Work, published by the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women. She lives with her family in Ottawa.