Wildcats have become an endangered species in recent years. Walking off the job during the life of the collective agreement negotiated between union officials and the employer, an illegal act under labour law since the 1940s, used to be a not uncommon thing. Postal workers were one group of workers who were more likely to take direct action on the job (their unions were formed out of a 1965 pan-Canadian strike by workers who weren’t unionized, and for years had a lot of power in the workplace). But employer efforts to assert total control in the workplace and fear of job loss have made wildcats extremely rare (only two were reported in Canada in 2008, the fewest ever).
So here’s some good news: a postal workers’ wildcat in Winnipeg.