Canada Post industrial action begins today

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has announced it is to begin industrial action against Canada Post in British Colombia and the Yukon today. This follows a formal notice of strike action that was given on Friday.

The CUPW however said that though its members will not be doing overtime, they will still be delivering post.

“Don’t panic. We’ll still be delivering the mail,” said Mike Palecek, the national president of the CUPW.

This being a national industrial action, the overtime refusal will be rotated through the provinces of Canada in the coming weeks, Even according to the union, this will cause ‘minimal disruption’ to the postal service.

In a statement, the CUPW added: “It’s a major negotiations issue for the union, which has been demanding that Canada Post staff its workforce properly and build routes that match scheduled hours, instead of overburdening workers and making them stay on the job longer.  Postal workers can be forced back and severely disciplined for refusing overtime.

“The union wants Canada Post to create more jobs instead of relying on overtime.”

Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, MaryAnn Mihychuk, announced on Thursday that she will appoint a special mediator to assist in negotiations with CUPW.

Canada Post said it will “fully cooperate in the process”.

Canada Post added: “We hope that the assistance of a neutral third party will help both parties address the real challenges facing the postal service caused by declining mail volumes and increasing pension obligations.

“Canada Post remains committed to reaching agreements that are fair to our employees, and allow us to continue to provide affordable pricing and service to Canadians.”

CUPW national president Mike Palecek added: “We are still willing to withdraw our notice if Canada Post agrees to an extension.  Our goal remains a freely negotiated collective agreement, without disruption to the public service that we proudly provide to the people of this country.”