OTTAWA — The Canada Post rotating strikes have hit the countrys largest processing centre in Toronto for a second time in three weeks as workers in 11 other southern Ontario communities walked off the job just after midnight.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says 4,500 Canada Post employees joined picket lines in Toronto at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
CUPW says that was before workers in Chatham, Clinton, Georgetown, Milton, Orangeville, Port Hope, Stratford, Strathroy, Tillsonburg, Wingham and Woodstock walked off the job early Wednesday.
Canada Post says in a statement that the union continues to escalate their strike activity, adding more communities each day and shutting down major processing centres for extended periods.
Canada Post says there is no indication when that strike will end, adding it will worsen backlogs in mail or parcel deliveries across the country.
"Prior to the unions decision to target Toronto again, the number of trailers full of parcels and packets waiting to be unloaded and processed at a Canada Post facilities sat at over 150," Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said in a statement late Tuesday.
"The escalating strikes have now shut down our three largest processing facilities in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal up to 48 hours. Combined, those three plants can process a million parcels and packets a day for communities across the country."
The union and the postal service have been unable to reach new collective agreements for two bargaining units after 10 months of negotiations.
"After … the intervention of two mediators and two weeks of rotating strikes, Canada Posts true colours are emerging," Mike Palecek, CUPW national president, said in a statement Wednesday.
"The lofty rhetoric of wanting to work with us to reach fair agreements for our workers is turning out to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors."
CUPW has also called on a national overtime ban for both of its major bargaining units, meaning workers will not work more than an eight-hour day and no more than a 40-hour week.
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Postal workers across Chatham-Kent are off the job today as rotating strike action continues at Canada Post offices across the country.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said its members also walked off the job in several other communities across Ontario including Clinton, Georgetown, Milton, Orangeville, Port Hope, Stratford, Strathroy, Tillsonburg, Wingham, and Woodstock locals as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
Elsewhere, job action has shut down Canada’s largest processing centre in Toronto for the second time since the strike started three weeks ago.
Canada Post said that action is expected to “worsen the backlogs” that are already affecting mail and parcel deliveries.
The crown corporation said the strikes have shut down postal operations in more than 100 communities across Canada since beginning of job action October 22.