The following is a case study about a logistics photography project we completed for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). Our client wanted to curate images of their union members and the various roles they perform for Canada Post. Telling the authentic story of the people behind the union, resulting in creating a sense of commonality amongst members and evoking a sense of community and pride.
Who is CUPW?
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers traditionally consisted of members working for Canada Post, including letter carriers, postal clerks, mail handlers, despatchers, technicians, mechanics and electricians. Over time, the union has evolved to include cleaners, courier drivers, vehicle mechanics, warehouse workers, printers and more. Resulting in CUPW representing the interests of the majority of folks working in the post industry for Canada Post.
With over 54,000 members in 8 regions across Canada, CUPW is a force representing the rights, safety and collective agreements of it’s members.
What Makes CUPW Different?
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers runs democratically, with member elected representatives. There are currently 208 CUPW local branches, where members create bylaws, decide on local activities and set priorities for bargaining.
Moreover, CUPW members are passionate about issues such as climate change, creating green jobs for the future, and financial inclusion for everyone. Through initiatives such as providing low-fee financial services at Canada Post offices, or their plans to reduce emissions, it’s clear their members care about people and the future of the planet.
Why is logistic photography of union members important to CUPW?
Logistics photography of union members is vital to CUPW for a number of reasons. These images provide a realistic, tangible representation of the diverse roles and responsibilities undertaken by union members. They are a powerful tool in narrating the story of the union’s work, its members’ commitment, and the tremendous value they bring to the community.
Beyond internal use, these images play an instrumental role in shaping public perception, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the often behind-the-scenes work of union members.
Essentially, they help humanize the organization and its mission, bridging the gap between the union and the Canadian populace. Moreover, the images serve as an integral part of CUPW’s advocacy efforts, providing visual evidence that bolsters their bargaining position and bolsters their demands for improved working conditions, rights, and safety measures.
This shoot was conducted over a number of days in both Winnipeg and Toronto to achieve a variety of different settings, with different people, to showcase the scale of the operation. We certainly didn’t photograph their 45,000 members but we were able to work with a few hundred.
During the shoot we traveled through numerous postal facilities, capturing the roles within the facility, including but not limited to; cleaners, courier drivers, vehicle mechanics, and warehouse workers. It takes a lot of logistics planning and a large crew to receive, sort, record, and despatch the mail and we really wanted to capture that story.
We also followed various mail carriers along their routes, capturing the distribution of mail delivery. Including employees driving trucks, walking, and delivering.
Diversity & Inclusion
In line with CUPW’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, we made a conscious effort to represent the diverse workforce of the union in our photography. We captured images of union members of varying ages, ethnicities, genders, and roles to reflect the true face of the union. This approach not only echoes the union’s values but also reinforces the idea that CUPW is a community that embraces and respects all members’ unique contributions.
Our photographs aim to emphasize the unity in diversity that is inherent within the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, portraying a true representation of the collective strength that comes from this diversity.
The images procured from this project were employed in a multitude of ways to support the endeavors of CUPW. They were prominently featured in promotional material, marketing strategies, advocacy campaigns, press releases and official communications to provide a visual narrative of the union’s work.
These images were also used in training material to educate new members about the diverse roles within the union, and in National conferences geared towards raising awareness about the pivotal role of the union members in ensuring the smooth operation of Canada Post.
Digital mediums were utilized, with the images making their way to the union’s website, social media channels, and digital newsletters – providing an authentic glimpse into the world of postal workers across Canada.
In summary, this photography project served as an insightful journey into the lives and work of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The images captured were not only indicative of the myriad roles and responsibilities borne by the union members, but they also reflected the commitment, dedication, and service of these individuals to the community.
The project successfully provided a human face to an essential yet often overlooked profession, fostering broader public understanding and appreciation. Ultimately, the power of these images lies not merely in their aesthetic appeal, but in their capacity to narrate a compelling story of resilience, unity, and service.
We hope that this case study has provided you with some insights into our approach to photography and how we work with our clients to achieve their goals. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.