Canadian Publishing Industry News
7 June 2011,     OTTAWA
Postal strike hits Edmonton, Calgary on Wednesday
Alberta's biggest cities are the target for CUPW's latest rotating strike, with 4,000 postal workers in Edmonton and Calgary hitting the picket lines for 24 hours on Wednesday.

The Toronto Star reported Tuesday that postal volumes are currently half regular volumes because of the rotating strikes, which have also hit Winnipeg, Hamilton, Montreal, and Moncton/Victoria. Major direct mailers and other postal users have cancelled or postponed campaigns, throwing thousands out of work and causing hardship throughout the entire mailing industry. The Star reported that no talks are scheduled for Wednesday.

Some industry insiders have speculated the Tory government will wait until Parliament recesses for the summer at the end of June to introduce any back-to-work legislation if negotiations are unsuccessful before then.

In a release, Gord Fischer, national director of the Prairie region for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, explained the reason behind the union’s choice for its Edmonton and Calgary locals to go out next:

“Canada Post is refusing to put proper staffing in place, leading to overwork and forced overtime,” Fischer said. “Routes don’t get covered and mail ends up sitting in the depots, leading to complaints about service.

“The union has clear demands about improving our service and making sure adequate staffing is in place. Canada Post wants us to do more with less, regardless of what that does to the public’s postal service.”

Canada Post has said the union's proposals are too expensive and do not address the post office's core problems of declining volumes, expanding routes and unfunded pension liability.

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