By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
With rotating strikes taking place all around Canada, postal workers in Oshawa take their turn today.
Workers can currently be found picketing at the Canada Post location on Ritson Road. One member who is participating in the picketing is John Lawrence, the secretary-treasurer of the Oshawa local Canadian Union of Postal Workers, who is impressed with the amount of support residents have shown.
With car horns honking in support, Lawrence says, “Our support has been tremendous. People going by are constantly honking. I think the public understands what we’re fighting for.”
Lawrence thinks that rotating strikes have been a good idea, saying, “I think it sends the message that we’re serious about our strike mandate. And we really just want to negotiate a settlement. If we didn’t want that we’d walk and we’d close the place, and that’s not our goal.”
For Lawrence and the Oshawa branch, the biggest issue is health and safety. One in eight letter carriers had a disabling injury last year, according to Lawrence. Workers suffer from fatigue, exhaustion, back injuries, and various other injuries that would cost them time at work.
Lawrence says that they want reduced workloads. His last route was 25 kilometres long, and had 2,500 stairs on it, which Lawrence says is 700 more than the CN Tower.
“Twenty-five kilometres is a long way to walk, let alone for someone who’s getting older with a 30-pound bag on them,” says Lawrence.
Oshawa postal workers are joined by colleagues in cities such as Peterborough, Pickering, and Thunder Bay today.