Postal workers’ demands are just

Postal workers begin rotating strikes. Photos from across Canada

Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMCs) picket in Nova Scotia, October 22

Workers’ Forum

On Sunday, October 21, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers National Executive Board informed postal workers that last minute discussions with Canada Post failed to address the demands of the union. A bulletin to union members stated that Canada Post negotiators refused to address the workers’ demands and consequently the union would begin rotating strikes at 12:01 am on October 22, in Victoria, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Windsor, Ontario; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Thousands of postal workers established picket lines at each location at 12:01 am local time. The first round of work stoppages lasted 24 hours.

In the evening of October 22, the union announced that workers in Toronto would begin strike action at 12:01 am local time. Close to 9,000 postal workers in the Toronto area walked off the job and picketed all work locations in most of the Greater Toronto Area (excluding Scarborough) for two days. The union press release stated, “We need to address health and safety concerns and precarious work, as well as gender equality. We will stay at the bargaining table and on the picket line for as long as it takes to get a fair deal for our members.”[1] On October 24 at 6:00 pm local time, workers in Calgary, Alberta and Kelowna, BC went on strike. They were joined by workers in Sherbrooke, Quebec on October 25 at 4:00 am local time.

On Wednesday, October 24, Minister of Labour Patty Hajdu appointed Morton Mitchnick as a special mediator to assist the parties in reaching negotiated collective agreements. The union’s negotiating committees announced that they were ready to work with the special mediator and Peter Simpson, Director General of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services to achieve the needs of postal workers in this round of negotiations. They also made it clear that strike activities will continue until further notice.

Workers’ Forum calls on everyone to go all out to support the postal workers’ demand for a collective agreement commensurate with their needs and the people’s need for a vital public post office.

Halifax

Nova Scotia, RSMCs

Sherbrooke, Quebec

Magog, Quebec

Solidarity action, Sudbury, Ontario

South Central Sorting plant, Toronto; Carrier Super Depot, Etobicoke

Mississauga, Ontario

Windsor, Ontario

Tecumseh, Ontario

Edmonton, Alberta

Lower Mainland, BC

Victoria, BC

Sooke, BC; Duncan, BC

Note

1. See “Key Issues Remain Unresolved at Post Office: Canadian Union of Postal Workers Issues 72-Hour Strike Notice,” Louis Lang, Workers’ Forum, October 18, 2018.

(Photos: WF, CUPW, CUPW Pacific, R. Barron, M. Keefe)

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Filed under Canada, Working Class

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