Postie union bristles at Canada Post funding refusal

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers National President and Chief Negotiator Denis Lemelin



OTTAWA -- The postal union will deliver a grievance to Canada Post if it refuses to pay for a delegation to attend a conference critics have slammed as anti-Israel.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has sent a five-person delegation to Porto Alegre, Brazil, for the World Social Forum's "Free Palestine" conference.

CUPW said it was funding the trip through a $200,000 international postal fund provided to the union by the Crown corporation under its collective agreement.

But Canada Post said there's no way it'll pick up the tab after receiving complaints over the funding from organizations like B'Nai Brith.

"We're not political," spokesman Jon Hamilton said Friday. "We focus on delivery of the mail."

But CUPW President Denis Lemelin said the conference falls well within the fund's networking purview and members will be meeting with posties from other countries.

"The union is there to represent the members but I think the union is (also) there to develop social and political views about what's happening globally," he said.

Besides, it's not the first time union members have travelled to this conference, Lemelin added.

"It's not the first time and it won't be the last," he said.

Tory MP Pierre Poilievre -- who supports legislation to make union dues optional -- said he hopes no dues go towards paying for the trip to the "extremist anti-Israel" conference now that Canada Post refuses to pay.

Lemelin bristled at the term junket and said all the spending was transparent and accountable to union members and Canada Post.

Sun News Videos

Mink farming

Nova Scotia produces half of Canada's mink fur.

Feminist 'consent underwear' spark debate

Do consent underwear just change the conversation from 'rape culture' to 'slut culture'?

Afghanistan's upcoming election

With an election rapidly approaching, change is on its way to Afghanistan. Good or bad, the world is watching.

Ezra Levant’s The Source is the most provocative and thought-changing multimedia show in Canada.

This show is 100% focused on the political battles taking place across Canada, in the United States...even around the world.

Michael Coren brings you strong, balanced opinions to challenge conventional thinking.

Byline brings you the stories you won’t hear anywhere else while exploring points of view that are all too often ignored.