Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Rotating postal strikes hit Fredericton processing plant

About 80 Canada Post workers gathered on a picket line outside a mail depot in Fredericton Wednesday.

It was part of a rotating strike strategy spearheaded by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) which impacted seven communities in New Brunswick.

“We’ve been over a year without a collective agreement for either the rural or urban side,” said George Nickerson, the president of CUPW Local 054.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday only days away, postal workers are hoping to attract the attention of bureaucrats who run the crown corporation.

There are about 50,000 Canada Post employees affected by the strike across the country. They say their asks are simple: improved job security, better health and safety measures and an end to forced overtime.

 “Letter carriers are hurt, the routes have gotten so long and the routes are all built around letter mail and they haven’t taken into account the amount of parcels we’re getting now,’ said Nickerson.

With Christmas sneaking up, business owners like Tyler Randall are preparing for a postal disruption.

“We typically stop sending our parcels through Canada Post temporarily. We won’t send any of our letter mail through Canada Post temporarily that type of thing and we’ll go through private carriers and even delivery ourselves if we need too,” said Randall, who co-owns Endeavors and ThinkPlay, a children’s toy store in downtown Fredericton.

Private carriers such as UPS are seeing an influx of demand countrywide and are asking customers to register online.

“The most important thing for us is to ensure our customers and consumers get their packages delivered on time,” said Steven Vitale, the director of communications for UPS Canada

Postal workers have shut down processing plants in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Canada Post says it has made offers to the union, which include increased wages and improved benefits. Canada Post adds that it has not asked for any concessions in return, but the two sides seem to remain at a crossroad.

Meanwhile, strikes have ended in Scarborough, Pickering, London, Barrie, Sarnia, Amherstburg, Delhi, St. Thomas and Owen Sound, Ont., as well as in the Saguenay Lac St-Jean, Abitibi and Hautes-Laurentides and Mont-Joli regions of Quebec.

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