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Picketers shut down Canada Post distribution centre

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

A coalition of workers unions has come together to fight for workers rights by shutting down the distribution facility in Oshawa.

In a press release, they stated that they will not be allowing any mail to come in or out of the distribution facility.

The workers can be found picketing outside of the Canada Post distribution facility at 301 Ritson Road North. They have signs ranging from those supporting the workers, to the much more explicit.

Workers from Unifor, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), and others can be found picketing outside of the distribution centre. It is a leaderless coalition of labour and community allies that is not officially endorsed or organized by any one group according to their spokesperson, Cory Weir.

“We’re sending a broad message,” says Weir, a General Motors autoworker. “Organized labour and our community are simply not going to tolerate these attacks anymore. With the Trudeau Liberal government at a federal level legislating these workers back to work, we feel that’s a violation of the Constitution and we’re absolutely not going to accept that as allies.”

With the holiday season fast approaching, the Liberal government recently introduced a back to work legislation for the striking Canada Post workers, who had been doing rotating strikes so as to not fall too far behind on their work.

Postal workers had been striking in order to improve their health and safety at work, with John Lawrence, the secretary-treasurer of the Oshawa local Canadian Union of Postal Workers, previously telling The Oshawa Express that one in eight letter carriers had a disabling injury last year.

Weir doesn’t only single out the federal government however, saying that they’re also sending a message to Doug Ford’s provincial government.

“There’s a Tim Hortons just down the street there [at the corner of Ritson Road North and Adelaide Avenue]. They’ve just had their wages clawed back; they’ve had all of these labour legislations, these things that we were so fortunate to achieve through our mass struggle. They’ve had all of that gutted, so we’re standing in solidarity with them as well,” says Weir.

The press release also called for a repeal to Ontario’s Bill 47, which is best known for freezing the provinces minimum wage at $14.00 per hour.

Weir, a GM autoworker, also says that they’re sending a message to the workers at the Oshawa plant that they’re supporting them as well. They are hoping to make sure that everyone knows that “these fights are connected, because this is a pressure that we’re all facing as working class people.”

Weir says that they hope to connect the dots on all of these issues and saying “As workers, as community members, we need to stand together on this, and when they pick a fight with one of us, we’re all going to respond from now on.”