Canada Post on strike

Job action begins in Winnipeg

You may not get your mail. And you might want to consider sending an e-mail instead of a letter.

Postal workers were poised to start striking today (Friday, June 3) after issuing 72-hour strike notice on Monday while negotiations with Canada Post were ongoing.

The union and Canada Post had set a deadline of Thursday midnight — well past The News’ press deadline — to resolve the stalemate or hit the pickets. Watch for updates.

“It’s not going at all,” said John Bail, national director of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ for the Pacific region, on the phone from Ottawa Tuesday where negotiations were taking place. 

“Our goal is not to disrupt anything. Our goal is to get a collective agreement, (and the) only way we have left is to put (Canada Post) under some pressure (by issuing strike notice).”

While small businesses, seniors and rural communities are expected to be hit hardest in the event of job action, British Columbians are on the verge of receiving a mail-in HST referendum which could be affected.

Don Main, communications manager with Elections B.C., which is administering the referendum, says they can adjust deadlines accordingly to ensure all residents have enough time to respond to the referendum.

“Should a postal strike occur, then Elections B.C. will look at when it happens in the process, at what point of the process we’re at in the referendum and how it’s affected,” he said. “We’ll make that decision when it happens.”

The CUPW says Canada Post has made a profit every year for 15 years, but negotiations are stalling because the company wants to make cutbacks on such things as benefits and pensions.     — Black Press