Canada Post union issues strike notice

The union representing Canada Post workers has issued a 72-hour strike notice and that job action could start just after midnight on Monday, Oct. 22 if a negotiated settlement hasn’t been reached.

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says that rotating strikes could commence after the deadline, according to a press release.

“Their locations and intensity will depend on Canada Post’s actions at the bargaining table in the days to come,” reads the release.

CUPW says there are a number of unresolved issues, such as wage increases above inflation, job security, gender equity, reducing overburdening for letter carriers, one-bundle delivery and elimination of 2013 wage charts.

Other issues pertain to protecting bargaining unit work, ending obligations for Rural-Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) to find replacements for absences, post retirement benefits from RSMCs and for RSMCs to be paid directly by Canada Post when on work-related accidents.

Canada Post says it has made offers to CUPW that include increased wages, job security and improved benefits, according to a statement from the crown corporation.

The statement says the two sides have been able to find common ground on some issues.

“Those include working together to address employees workload concerns caused by parcel growth, additional financial services, and going beyond pay equity for Rural and Suburban employees by extending job security and moving to one uniform,” according to the statement.

Brent Bush, the president of CUPW 728, says that the union is ready to negotiate with Canada Post if they come to the table.

“The union’s been trying to negotiate with Canada Post in good faith for almost a year, 10 months, and there’s been very little movement on any of the substantive issues,” Bush said. “Now we’re faced with that crunch time of issuing the 72-hour notice and hopefully it gives both parties an opportunity over the weekend to put their heads together and do some serious bargaining.”

Bush says Canada Post restructured routes across the country and that it’s affecting the health and safety of union employees in the Cranbrook area.

“Locally, right here, we are feeling it because of the restructure,” said Bush. “We’re going to be a reassessment of those new routes in the following weeks, right now, we’re finding it pretty difficult.”

Bush says there are 15 RSMCs in the Cranbrook area, which include relief carriers.

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