By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
With a full-force job action on the horizon, postal workers began rotating strikes on Monday.
Rotating strikes began Oct. 22 in four major cities across Canada: Edmonton, Victoria, Windsor, and Halifax.
Emilie Tobin of CUPW communications was unable to say if and when postal workers in Oshawa will go on strike.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and Canada Post have been at the negotiating table for approximately 10 months, and have yet to reach an agreement.
According to the CUPW website, some of the demands that are still on the table are an increase of wages above the rate of inflation, a need to reduce the overburdening for letter carriers, rural and suburban mail carriers (RSMC) will receive pay for all hours worked as well as have a minimum number of guaranteed hours.
They are also asking for post-retirement benefits for RSMCs, and to put an end to the RSMCs needing to find a replacement for their own absences.
A release from CUPW says that working conditions for postal workers have deteriorated over the last decade. They attribute this to Canada Post’s failure to properly address the increase in parcel volumes, and the burden that places on its members.
“Our members gave us a clear mandate to take job action if Canada Post refused to address our major issues – health and safety, gender equality and preserving full-time, middle class jobs,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW national president.
The release also states that Canada Post needs to address workplace injuries, which have increased by 43 per cent over the last two years.
According to the release, “the disabling injury rate for a letter carrier is eight times the average of the rest of the federal sector, which includes longshoring, mining, road transport and railways.”
Since CUPW opted for rotating strikes, mail will still be delivered. However, it may be delayed. Due to the disruption, Ontario Works clients who normally receive their cheques in the mail will still continue to do so. Water and sanitary bills can be paid at regional headquarters, 605 Rossland Road East in Whitby, online, at the bank or via a cheque that is made payable to the Regional Municipality of Durham at a drop box location. Oshawa’s drop box is located at the municipal office, 50 Centre Street North.
For more information on the strike, visit cupw.ca, or for regional updates visit durham.ca/CanadaPostLabourDisruption