Following a ruckus that arose earlier this week when mail carriers refused to deliver anti-abortion political flyers, a representative from the Union of Postal Workers has stated that mail carriers will not be forced to deliver the objectionable material if they choose not to.
Six mail carriers refused to deliver anti-abortion flyers in Saskatoon, Canada. The flyers, created by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, target pro-choice Liberal Leader, Justin Trudeau, who is currently campaigning for office.
The flyers are sent in an unsealed envelope that indicates the contents are filled with an important political message. Inside, the pamphlets contain graphic images of aborted fetuses that some mail carriers found objectionable.
When the Saskatoon mail carriers initially refused to deliver the anti-abortion flyers, they were sent home by their supervisor. However, after considering the matter, the mail carriers were told they could finish out their shifts for the rest of the day. The mail carriers were then told if they refused to deliver the anti-abortion flyers the following day, action would be taken against them by Canada Post.
— Sellers & Newel (@SellersandNewel) July 31, 2015
Got an anti-abortion flyer in the mail. Complaining to Canada post and the group that put it out. Kids shouldn’t be exposed to that #yql
— Shanea Nilsson (@WindyCityShanea) November 19, 2012
A Canada spokesman spoke out Wednesday about the debate over whether or not the anti-abortion literature should be distributed.
“We are responsible for the physical delivery of all mail in Canada. We do not have the legal right to refuse delivery of a mail item because we or other people object to its content. Anyone who has concerns about the content should either contact the publisher or simply dispose of it.”
However, yesterday, in an agreement between Canada Post and Canadian Union Postal Workers of Saskatoon, it was announced that mail carriers who object to the anti-abortion flyers will not be forced to deliver them. Instead, the anti-abortion flyers will be delivered by mail carriers who volunteer to deliver them.
— janice lynn cowley (@moxyladies) August 7, 2015
A Regina University labor relations professor spoke about the possibly dangerous precedent the agreement between Canada Post and the Canadian Union Postal Workers of Saskatoon over the anti-abortion literature might represent for the future.
“Canada Post is in a difficult situation here, but this may be a slippery slope with other employees taking action on unsolicited mail that is not illegal — but in the mind of the employee, offensive.”
Mailer carriers who objected to the graphic pictures of aborted fetuses in the anti-abortion flyer said that they were “horrified” by the content.
— James Cowan (@jamesjcowan) July 31, 2015
What do you think? Should mail carriers be forced to deliver mail that they find horrifying?
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images