The Canadian Press
MONTREAL–About 6,000 Canada Post employees in Montreal have walked off the job, along with postal workers in several other cities as ongoing rotating strikes continue across the country.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said the Montreal walkout began at 10:30 p.m. (local time) yesterday, joining several other cities participating in the 24-hour strikes.
CUPW said walkouts are being held in five B.C. cities, including Fraser Valley West, Prince George, Squamish, and Royal City.
Workers also are out in Weyburn, Sask. and seven Ontario communities, including Fort Frances, Cobourg, Deep River, Peterborough, and Kapuskasing.
Last week, 9,000 workers in the Toronto area walked off the job for two days, forcing delays in shipments of tens of thousands of letters and parcels across the country.
In a statement, Canada Post warned the Montreal walkout will have a significant impact on operations since it is an important processing hub.
“Canada Post will make every effort to minimize the impact but customers well beyond Montreal may see delays for parcel and mail delivery,” the Crown corporation said.
CUPW and the postal service have been unable to reach new collective agreements for the two bargaining units in 10 months of negotiations.
“We outlined our major issues to Canada Post at the very beginning of the negotiation process . . . and clearly stated that we would not sign any agreements that don’t address overwork and overburdening, equality, and full-time jobs,” CUPW national president Mike Palecek said in a statement.
“Our position hasn’t changed,” he added. “We aren’t just bargaining for today, we are bargaining for the future–for our members and everyone who relies on the postal service.”
Last Tuesday, Labour minister Patty Hajdu appointed Morton Mitchnick, a former chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, to help the two parties resolve their contract differences.