Last week, TVA, a Montreal television station reported that another Canada Post employee had committed suicide. The postal worker was 57 years old and had been working as a truck driver at the mail processing plant in Saint-Laurent, Montreal.
This is the 8th postal worker to have committed suicide in the Montreal area in less than two years.
Postal workers in Montreal are reported to be very worried regarding the situation. They say that the worker who took his own life had been off work as a result of an injury on duty but that Canada Post had contested his claim.
For the workers, his death leaves many unanswered questions. Was his death related to his conditions of work and to the difficulties he was having regarding his injury on duty? Such is one of the many questions on the minds of those he has left behind.
The suicide rate amongst postal workers in Montreal is raising serious questions about workplace stress and the impact of Canada Post’s modernization project on the workers. Not long ago, when the suicide of two other postal workers who had been working together in St-Hubert took place, workers complained about their working conditions and having to work long shifts and late evening schedules.
They also complained at the time of ongoing harassment by management and threats of disciplinary action if they did not finish their routes in time. At the time, a local CUPW representative had also raised serious concerns about the two deaths and alluded that they might be related to the deteriorating working conditions since the implementation of the “Modern Post”.
On June 5, 2013 the Sunday e-mail spoke with Serge Champoux National Union Representative for the CUPW on health and safety matters. He deplored the many suicides in Montreal but stated that no file had been opened by the union on the subject.
He said that the union was very preoccupied by the situation and was working very closely with the Montreal local monitoring the situation. He also stated that it is very hard to establish whether a suicide is work related or not and would not venture in this direction. He said that the most important thing was to support the families who were going through a period of grief.
He added that the Montreal local in this instance had refrain from making any comments regarding the latest suicide and so did the National Office of CUPW.
Canada Post has systematically refrained for the past two years from issuing any comments regarding the deaths by suicide of so many postal workers in the Montreal region and has gone so far as to deny the many deaths sending reporters to inquire through the Access to Information Act. To this day, Canada Post remains silent about the matter also preferring “to support the families in their moments of grief”.
Postal workers in Ottawa are very preoccupied by the situation as well. Many postal workers think that the suicides should be properly investigated by the union as a matter relating to the health and safety of the workers while also supporting the families in their grief.
The Sunday e-mail extends its deepest condoleances to all the families affected and to all the members of the Montreal local of CUPW.