Mail will not be delivered in Edmonton Monday after hundreds of local postal workers walked off the job as part of a series of rotating strikes across the country.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said the 24-hour strikes began Monday at 12:01 a.m. local time in Edmonton, Victoria. B.C., Windsor, Ont., and at 1:01 a.m. in Halifax.
“It’s no mail on Monday. There will be no processing or delivery until Tuesday,” said Nancy Dodsworth, president of Edmonton local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“It’s going to put pressure on Canada Post.”
In Edmonton, a handful of workers — bundled up against the cold — could be seen walking the picket line early Monday at the west end Canada Post processing facility at 12135 149th Street.
The union opted for rotating strikes in order to minimize service disruptions, Dodsworth said. Workers in Edmonton will return to the job at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
“We’ll have mail processing happening elsewhere in Canada that will still be shipped here, but that will have to wait until we’re back open for business and working,” she said.
“Service will slow down but it will not stop.”
Small grp of picketers outside Can Post processing plant on 149st. 24 hr rotating strike <a href=”https://t.co/TKjkg0NnXX”>pic.twitter.com/TKjkg0NnXX</a>
The job action began after negotiators failed to reach a new contract agreement before the union’s Monday strike deadline.
“Canada Post had the opportunity this weekend to stop any postal disruption on Monday, but instead, as they have for almost a year, they refused to talk about the issues that matter to our members,” Mike Palecek, CUPW National President said in a statement.
“Our goal has always been a negotiated settlement but we will not agree to anything that doesn’t address health and safety, gender equality and good, full-time middle-class jobs.”
‘As long as it takes’
CUPW has been negotiating collective agreements with Canada Post for almost a year.
Dodsworth said the key issues of job security, an end to forced overtime, better health and safety measures and gender equality forced workers to walk off the job.
“We have a lot of issues on the table that are health- and safety-driven that Canada Post just has not dealt with,” she said.
The demands on delivery continue to increase and more workers are getting injured on the job.
“We have forced overtime, the volumes are increasing exponentially, we are doing the same work that were doing but with double, triple the amount of parcels,” she said.
“We want safe work.”
Dodsworth did not speculate on how long the strike action might last but said members are committed to getting back to the bargaining table.
“We will keep rotating these strikes as long as it takes,” she said.
The union represents 50,000 employees across Canada and about 2,000 members in Edmonton.