A 24-hour rotating strike by Canadian Union of Postal Workers was underway Thursday in Cranbrook.

Rotating postal strike hits Cranbrook again

Union, Canada Post remain far apart over labour issues as federal intervention looms

A rotating strike between Canada Post and a union representing postal workers has hit Cranbrook again as the two sides remain far apart in reaching a negotiated settlement.

However, the federal labour minister signalled on Thursday that the Liberals may introduce back-to-work legislation as a last resort.

“This ongoing work stoppage has had significant negative impacts on Canadians, businesses, international commerce, Canada Post, its workers and their families,” said Patty Hajdu, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “Canadians and businesses rely on Canada Post and its workers, especially during the busy retail season. With Canadians and Canadian businesses feeling serious impacts, our government is prepared to legislate a path forward to keep goods moving for Canadians.”

WATCH: Cranbrook postal workers on 24-hour strike

That doesn’t sit well with both national and local members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

“This government has said they agree that a negotiated settlement is the best resolution in the long run, they believe in free collective bargaining and agreed to renew the mandate of the mediator Morton Mitchnick for a short period of time,” according to a bulletin posted on the union website on Tuesday. “CUPW believes that the threat of back-to-work legislation will undermine the chances of negotiated settlements. We’ll do our best to reach a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible with the assistance of the mediator. We will see shortly if this was a real attempt to achieve negotiated settlements.

Brent Bush, the president of CUPW Local 728, said the potential back-to-work legislation means that Canada Post doesn’t need to make any concessions, knowing that the federal government is going to intervene.

Bush pointed to a 2016 ruling in an earlier labour dispute between the federal government and the union, which successfully challenged back-to-work legislation introduced in 2011 after the presiding judge found it violated charter rights.

“We’ve been legislated back to work before and it’s a fundamental assault on free collective bargaining rights and we’re just not going to take it anymore,” said Bush.

A mediator has been reappointed to try and bridge the gap between the two sides, as outstanding issues include overburdening of letter carriers, employee health and safety, pay equity, time worked for time paid, and more.

“We’ve tried to use rotating strikes, minimize the impact to the public in order to put pressure on Canada Post,” said Bush. “This is our fourth week of rotating strikes and it doesn’t appear that pressure has persuaded Canada Post to come to the negotiating table. They are so far apart; it’s incredible how far apart we are.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Kimberley Dynamiters' next two exhibition games have been postponed due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Paul Rodgers file.
Member of Kimberley Dynamiters tests positive for COVID-19

Exhibition games in Fernie, Creston postponed

A naloxone kit. (Black Press Media file photo)
Interior Health issues drug alert for Cranbrook

Interior Health has issued a drug alert in the Cranbrook area for… Continue reading

Blue Sky Kingdom.
Kimberley’s Bruce Kirkby publishes “Blue Sky Kingdom” documenting family adventure to Zanskar

Bruce Kirkby, a prolific and world-reknowned adventurer, writer and photographer who calls… Continue reading

A Kimberley resident expresses her concerns and frustration regarding proper waste management and enforcement, resulting in unnecessary encounters with bears. File Photo.
Letter to the editor: Waste management and urban bears in Kimberley

October 29, 2020 I just want to start by saying we LOVE… Continue reading

letter
LETTERS: Response to Marysville Arena closure

City Council has decided to keep the arena closed for now

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read