By David F. Rooney
As of 12 am Thursday the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has gone on strike for the first time in 13 years.
The strike begins in Winnipeg and will roll across the country.
“The purpose of our strike is to encourage CPC management to return to the bargaining table with a proposal that meets the needs of current and future postal workers,” Denis Lemelin, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said in a statement Thursday.
He said the union’s National Executive Board will “evaluate the situation on a daily basis and determine our strike strategy based on developments at the bargaining table.” All union members are encouraged to visit www.cupw.ca to learn about developments in negotiations and to see when their local will be called into action.
The Winnipeg local will be on strike for 24 hours, after which the strike will continue in other locations to be announced later, says a message posted on the union website.
“The purpose of this strike activity is to encourage Canada Post Corporation to abandon their proposals for significant concessions and instead negotiate solutions to the very real problems that are being experienced by 48,000 postal workers,” it said.
Winnipeg was chosen as the location for the first strike activity because it was the first city to be impacted by Canada Post’s modernization program. The results have been a sharp deterioration of service to the public as well as a host of health and safety problems experienced by postal workers due to the new work methods and equipment.
Despite the strike action, government cheques will still be delivered under an agreement between the union and Canada Post.
There was no word on the website about strike action in Revelstoke.