Postal strike hits Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Edmonton

Postal strike hits Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Edmonton
Canada Post rotating strike hits Cape Breton
SYDNEY, N.S. — Canada Post workers made a local delivery on their cross-country strike, Thursday.

Gordon MacDonald, president of Breton Local 117 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said Thursday’s action affected about 21 postal outlets in Cape Breton, including outlets in New Waterford, Glace Bay, North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Sydney and all rural route areas from Dingwall to Gabarus, East Bay, Eskasoni, Florence, Bras d’Or, Port Morien and surrounding areas.

“Prior to the union’s decision to target Toronto again, the number of trailers full of parcels and packets waiting to be unloaded and processed at Canada Post facilities sat at over 150,” Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said in a statement late Tuesday.

MacDonald said all corporate offices in these communities were closed Thursday but rural offices remained open because another bargaining unit works those offices.

“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.”

“With the way mail has changed over the last number of years — with the huge amount of volume — people are working anywhere from 10 hours a day and then being forced out by the corporation to do more work. Their quality of life is deteriorating.”

OTTAWA — The Canada Post rotating strikes have hit the country’s 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.

Kingston postal workers walk out

Job security is also a concern for their new hires and is also a huge issue with their rural and suburban people as well, he added.

“After … the intervention of two mediators and two weeks of rotating strikes, Canada Post’s true colours are emerging,” Mike Palecek, CUPW national president, said in a statement Wednesday.

“We want our RSMCs (rural and suburban mail carriers) to get an hourly rate of pay and get paid for the hours they work. Those workers work beyond the hours that’s scheduled for them and they don’t get paid for it.”

Canada Post Corp. mail delivery trucks sit in the Gateway Postal Facility parking lot in Toronto. Rotating strikes hit this plant for the second time in three weeks Tuesday. Cole Burston/Bloomberg

MacDonald said their arbitrator has already said pay equity is a fundamental right in the federal sector.

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.

The Canada Post Strike May Have Only Just Started

“They can talk all they want about that they care about their employees. (But) until they provide it on these issues, we don’t believe that they are serious.”

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.

Kingston postal workers strike

MacDonald said the labour minister has just extended the mediator’s mandate for another four days which means they’ll be back at the table, which is a good thing.

“After more than 10 months of negotiations, the intervention of two mediators and two weeks of rotating strikes, Canada Post’s true colours are emerging,” Mike Palecek, CUPW National President, said in a news release from CUPW. “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. It needs to be said: Canada Post talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk.”

“We are determined to get a negotiated settlement and we want a negotiated settlement and we want to get back to work and do our jobs.”

“We’re asking to stop the overburdening of the letter carrier,” Whan said. “We all know that letter volumes have gone down and parcel volumes have gone up. These parcel volumes are being piled onto the letter carriers along with their mail. You’re carrying a lot more stuff, and they just keep making the routes longer and longer, so the carriers are out on the street a lot longer. Some carriers work 10 to 12 hours per day.”

Postal workers picketing the Canada Post building on Charlotte Street in Sydney said they were there because there’s no contract.

“This is important for the workers,” Whan said from the side of Collins Bay Road on Wednesday afternoon, where she and a handful of colleagues picketed. “There’s an issue with forced overtime for the letter carriers. There’s an issue with overburdening of the letter carriers. Everybody deserves to go to work and come home safe.”

“It’s a way to show people (that) without your mail service things will change, things can be different,” said Mae James, a part-time PO4 clerk in Sydney for almost 16 years.

James said they are hoping to bring attention to what the letter carriers are going through as far as the weight that they have to carry as well as other issues they have with the corporation.

“Maybe they can come together. It’s not that there’s hate, we’re just trying to come to a common ground.”

Kingston Canada Post employees are taking their first turn on a rotating strike that has been moving through communities across the country as negotiations stall between workers and the Crown corporation.

In an email response from Canada Post, the corporation says since Oct. 22 CUPW’s rotating strikes have now shut down operations in more than 150 communities across the country.

Canada Post says they’ve been working hard to minimize the service impact to Canadians, but the union’s escalating strikes continue to cause backlogs in their nationally integrated delivery network.

“We typically stop sending our parcels through Canada Post temporarily. We won’t send any of our letter mail through Canada Post temporarily that type of thing and we’ll go through private carriers and even delivery ourselves if we need too,” said Randall, who co-owns Endeavors and ThinkPlay, a children’s toy store in downtown Fredericton.

The corporation says it remains committed to the bargaining process and has made significant offers to CUPW that include increased wages, job security, and improved benefits and has not asked for any concessions in return.

Postal workers have shut down processing plants in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Canada Post says it has made offers to the union, which include increased wages and improved benefits. Canada Post adds that it has not asked for any concessions in return, but the two sides seem to remain at a crossroad.

Canada Post workers walk off the job in Barrie

The federal labour minister has extended the mediator’s mandate for four more days to assist the parties in reaching a resolution.

Canada Post also stated they value the relationship with the union and is committed to working together to address employees’ workload concerns caused by parcel growth, additional financial services and going beyond pay equity for rural and suburban employees by extending job security and moving to one uniform for all delivery employees.

 “Letter carriers are hurt, the routes have gotten so long and the routes are all built around letter mail and they haven’t taken into account the amount of parcels we’re getting now,’ said Nickerson.

MacDonald said this week marks the third week for rotating, Canada-wide strikes, which covered most of Nova Scotia on Thursday.

There are about 50,000 Canada Post employees affected by the strike across the country. They say their asks are simple: improved job security, better health and safety measures and an end to forced overtime.

Postal workers voted overwhelmingly in late summer to support a potential walkout to back their contract demands.

“The most important thing for us is to ensure our customers and consumers get their packages delivered on time,” said Steven Vitale, the director of communications for UPS Canada

“Negotiations have been disappointing and kind of insulting, considering all the money they’re making,” MacDonald said.

“We’ve been over a year without a collective agreement for either the rural or urban side,” said George Nickerson, the president of CUPW Local 054.

Delays to Mail and Parcel Delivery Expected for Brampton

“We want to deal with health and safety, job security and the issues we have among our groups with pay equity.”

In response to similar claims by the union, Canada Post said it “remains committed to the bargaining process” adding that it has “made significant offers to CUPW that include increased wages, job security, and improved benefits, and it has not asked for any concessions in return.”

CUPW expands strikes in Ontario and Quebec as the number of communities affected since the beginning of job action passes the 100 mark

CUPW’s membership of 50,000 postal workers includes the urban postal operations made up of 42,000 letter carriers, mail service couriers, postal clerks and mail handlers who have been without a contract since January 2018. The rural and suburban mail carriers comprise 8,000 employees nationwide who have been without a contract since September 2017.

CUPW conducts further strike action by shutting down some Alberta cities, including Lethbridge

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is giving indications that his patience is running out for Canada Post to reach a contract settlement with its unionized employees as rotating strikes continue.

Trudeau says his government might soon act to end the dispute if the Crown corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers cant bridge their differences.

“All they’ve done recently is stall and refuse to discuss our major issues, which are health and safety, gender equality, and preserving the good full-time jobs that we have now,” said Suitor.

Trudeau commented on the dispute today as CUPW members expanded their rotating walkouts to dozens of locations across the country, including in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

The job actions have temporarily shut down Canada Posts operations in more than 150 communities since being launched last month.

Unionized postal workers on the picket lines in Chatham-Kent are blaming stalled negotiations and the ongoing mail delays on their employer, claiming it hasn’t delivered an acceptable contract yet.

The Liberals have until now said they preferred to see contracts reached through collective bargaining.

To help in that process, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu appointed a special mediator in the Canada Post dispute a little over two weeks ago.

The union and the postal service have been unable to reach new collective agreements for two bargaining units after 10 months of negotiations. “The overburdening, the overtime, constantly not being paid properly, its definitely worth us being out here doing what were doing”, says one picketing postal worker.

Morton Mitchnicks mandate has been extended until Sunday but Trudeau said he wants to see progress in the talks, hinting at legislative action if there is none.

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“Christmas season is approaching and we know thats when Canadians use Canada Post more than at any other time,” the prime minister said Thursday as he entered the House of Commons for question period.

“But if we dont see significant resolution shortly, all options will be on the table for resolving this.”

Canada Post said earlier Thursday it was dealing with a large backlog of undelivered packages as a result of the rotating strikes, which it said had grown after its largest processing centre in Toronto was shut down Wednesday for a second time in three weeks.

The agencys Toronto sorting facilities are hubs for mail and parcel deliveries across the country and were shut by the union for two consecutive days in October.

In its latest update, Canada Post says it will “continue to make every effort to minimize the impact, but customers across the country can expect delays of several days for parcel and mail delivery”.

Postal Workers Back to Work

CUPW has said its key demands include job security, an end to forced overtime and overburdening, better health and safety measures, service expansion and equality for rural and suburban mail carriers with their urban counterparts.

In addition to Brantford, job action was taken by Canadian Union of Postal Workers in Simcoe, Torontos east end, London, Barrie, Fort Erie, Guelph, St. Catharines and Welland.

Canada Post rotating strikes hit Niagara |

Along with the rotating strikes, the union has called on its members to refuse overtime, including working during the upcoming Remembrance Day long weekend.

Canada Post has maintained it made “significant offers” to its workers that include increased wages, job security, and improved benefits, with no concession demands.