Burlington monitoring postal workers rotating strikes to minimize potential impact on residents

Burlington monitoring postal workers\ rotating strikes to minimize potential impact on residents
No more overtime say postal workers
There are new Canada Post strikes to mark the start of November in Regina, Hamilton, Ont., North Bay, Ont., La Mauricie, Que., and the Outaouais on Thursday.

Meanwhile, postal workers represented by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are still on strike in Ottawa as well as the British Columbia cities of Campbell River, Courtenay, Nanaimo and Port Alberni.

Canada Post workers in Hamilton, La Mauricie, Que., join rotating strikes

Local CUPW president William Johnson said members are frustrated with how long negotiations are taking.

Last Tuesday, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu appointed Morton Mitchnick, a former chairman of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, to help the two parties resolve their differences.

Postal walkout hits North Bay

He said one of the biggest issues is lack of equality for mail carriers in rural and suburban areas. 

"They don't get paid for hours worked, so if they have a route that's evaluated at six hours and they work nine to 10 hours, they're only paid for their six hours," he said, explaining that urban workers are entitled to overtime right now.

The Canada Post logo is seen on the outside the companys Pacific Processing Centre, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday June 1, 2017. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Wednesday's strikes on P.E.I., in the Renfrew area of eastern Ontario and in other Quebec communities such as St-Jérôme and Valleyfield have ended.

The Ontario communities of North Bay and Ottawa are also on strike, as well as the British Columbia cities of Campbell River, Courtenay, Nanaimo and Port Alberni.

These rotating strikes started Oct. 22, with CUPW's approximately 50,000 members trying to also improve job security and health and safety.

Canada Post has said it remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement, while at the same time making every effort to minimize the impact of any disruption on the customers it serves.

Dozens of trailers filled with parcels and packages were awaiting processing at the agencys three biggest hubs — Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Thursday also marks the start of a national overtime ban, according to the union, which is asking its members to work no longer than eight hours a day and 40 hours a week.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the walkout in La Mauricie began Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. and in Hamilton just after midnight on Thursday.

"We can show Canada Post just what it's like to run the postal service without relying on overtime — it can be done, and it can create jobs," the union said in a news release.

"During the strike period, Canada Post will try to use overtime to clear backlogs and undermine the effectiveness of our strike action. We won't co-operate with that."

"Not only keeping the service that we have but expanding it to everybody. North Bay and our community has been very, very clear that we want to keep our ‘Posties’ and we want to keep the service and improve the service, so let's get cracking here" 

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

Canada Post, in a statement about the rotating strikes, says, "At this point, there is a backlog of over 150 trailers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal of items waiting to be unloaded and processed, with more arriving every day.

NEWS RELEASE CANADIAN UNION OF POSTAL WORKERS ************************* OTTAWA – Effective Nov. 1 at 12:01 a.m., the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is calling a national overtime ban for both of its major bargaining units at Canada Post. Postal workers, no matter what their job at Canada Post, will not work more than an eight-hour day and not more than a 40-hour week.

Postal workers will refuse overtime, including letter carriers – who have experienced so much forced overtime that some of them are not used to seeing their families before dark.

Keith Bradford, President of the CUPW North Bay Local, told CKAT the message to Canada Post is get to the negotiating table and talk. 

“We’ve had it. Overburdening, overtime and overwork are all major issues in this round of bargaining. Until Canada Post negotiators’ address it, we can solve it for ourselves in the meantime.” said CUPW National President Mike Palecek. “This is a health and safety issue rooted in poor staffing. We refuse to be injured any longer by a management team that cares more about the bottom line than sky-rocketing injury rates.”

One of the expired collective agreements enabled Canada Post to give mandatory overtime to some postal workers, including letter carriers. Canada Post management has been driving up risks to workers’ physical and mental health by abusing that option.

With the contract no longer in effect, postal workers have the right to refuse the overtime while demanding proper staffing and overtime procedures.

Rates of disabling injuries have been climbing, and postal workers are now the most injured group of workers in the federal sector, five times the average rate of the rest of federal sector, and more than double that of longshore workers, the next most frequently injured.

“As our routes get longer and longer, our bodies are breaking down.” He continued “This ends today."