The union representing Canada Post employees has begun a series of rotating strikes in four cities today.
The 24-hour strikes began at 12:01 am in Victoria, BC, Edmonton, AB, Windsor, ON and 1:01 am in Halifax, NS.
“Canada Post had the opportunity this weekend to stop any postal disruption on Monday, but instead, as they have for almost a year, they refused to talk about the issues that matter to our members,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW National President in a statement.
“Our goal has always been a negotiated settlement but we will not agree to anything that doesn’t address health and safety, gender equality and good, full-time middle-class jobs.”
CUPW opted for rotating strikes to minimize the impact of a postal disruption on customers –mail will still be delivered, although it could be delayed.
During the rotating strike, Canada Post continues to operate across Canada and is still accepting and delivering mail and parcels in all other locations.
The strike begins after negotiators failed to reach a new contract agreement before the union’s Monday strike deadline for the Urban Postal Operations and Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) bargaining units.
“Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have been unable to reach new collective agreements and the union has commenced legal strike actions,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour in a statement.
Hajdu added that she encourages both parties to continue bargaining and that she remains hopeful they will reach an agreement.
“The mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service have been working closely with the parties to help them reach agreements and will remain available to assist them. I will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Key demands for postal workers during bargaining include:
- Job security
- End to forced overtime and overburdening
- Better health and safety measures
- Service expansion
- Equality for RSMCs
The strikes will continue until Canada Post “gets serious” about bargaining, said Palecek.
“They should and can do better. Our members deserve better.”