Canadian Magazine Industry News
12 June 2011,     OTTAWA
Postal strike hits 10 cities, two sides far apart
As the postal disruption enters its twentieth day, Canada Post is digging in its heels and urging the union to accept its offer for the good of the future of the post office. The union continues its strategy of 24-hour rotating strikes. Three-day mail service (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) begins in urban areas this week as Canada Post adjusts workloads to lower volumes caused by the strike.

Ten union locals are on strike Monday June 12 across the country:
  • Breton, NS  (Sydney, North Sydney, Sydney Mines, New Waterford and Glace Bay)
  • Fredericton, NB
  • Mauricie, QC
  • Sherbrooke, QC
  • Corner Brook, NL
  • Cornwall, ON
  • Windsor, ON
  • Niagara Falls, ON
  • Regina, SK
  • Nanaimo, BC (10:00 p.m. local time).
Over the weekend, while Red Deer, AB, was on strike, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt leaned on both sides to come to a negotiated settlement. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers offered to suspend the strikes if management first agreed to revert to the old collective agreement during the remainder of negotiations. Canada Post's response: take a hike.

"At Canada Post, we believe the union’s strike activity should stop, but accepting their demand to revert back to the old collective agreement in order to make that happen is completely unacceptable," the post office said.

"By maintaining the uncertainty for customers and hurting our revenues, the union’s proposal is tantamount to asking for full pay to remain on strike. No company would accept that, especially with the damage already done to the business. We need flexibility to manage costs in response to the large drop in volume and corresponding revenues caused by the union’s activities. We also need to be able to end the uncertainty and achieve a new collective agreement that sets a course for the future.

"The company has a very fair and generous offer on the table that we strongly urge the union to accept. Therefore we will not support any effort by the union to delay this process further. We need to move forward and secure the future of this company—for our employees and our customers."

CUPW is holding a media conference at 10 a.m. Monday in Ottawa.

The last postal strike, in 1997, lasted 16 days before back-to-work legislation brought it to an end.
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