Rotating postal strike comes to Amherstburg



By Ron Giofu


The ongoing labour dispute between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has come to Amherstburg.

Rotating postal strikes came to the region Tuesday morning with the Amherstburg post office being one of the locations impacted. Jennifer Grant, vice president of CUPW Local 500, said workers have been without a contract for almost one year.

Rural and suburban mail carriers have been without a contract since Dec. 2017, she stated, while urban carriers have been without a contract since January 2018.

According to Grant, “the corporation has not been bargaining in good faith” and the union has been in a legal strike position since September. Rotating postal strikes have been going on for just over three weeks, she stated.

“Our battle is not with the public, it’s with the corporation,” said Grant.

Canada Post employees, represented by CUPW Local 500, picket in front of the Amherstburg post office Nov. 6.

Grant said that carriers have the highest injury rate of any group within the federal sector, with injury rates for postal carriers being as much as five times as other federal employees.

“Our major issue right now is health and safety, job creation and greening of the post office,” said Grant.

The latter would include postal banking in smaller communities, she said. Some communities may not have a bank, she noted, but they do have a post office so allowing postal banking would be an expansion of services.

There was a special mediator appointed two weeks ago by the Ministry of Labour, said Grant, but that ended last Friday with little progress.

As of Tuesday morning, the rotating strike in Amherstburg was expected to last 24 hours but there was a chance it could go longer.

“It depends on what the national executive board wants,” said Grant.

Grant added that Canada Post has been profitable for 19 out of the last 20 years and that profits go back into the public.

“Taxes do not pay our wages,” Grant stated.

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