Canada Post rotating strikes now underway

PrintAction Staff
October 22, 2018
By PrintAction Staff
UPDATED November 21 — Since October 22, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ (CUPW’s) rotating strikes have shut down Canada Post’s operations in more than 150 communities across the country. The strikes are now into their fifth week and have touched virtually every Canada Post facility and every Canadian address so far, Canada Post explains.

The rotating strikes are expected to last 24 hours. In those areas, mail and parcels will not be delivered or picked up. Canada Post says it will continue to operate across Canada and is accepting and delivering mail and parcels in all other locations.

On October 24, Canada Post appointed a special mediator by the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, to assist the parties in reaching a negotiated settlement. We remain committed to the bargaining process.

“We remain committed to arriving at a negotiated settlement with CUPW, while making every effort to minimize the impact of any disruption on the customers we serve,” according to a statement from Canada Post.

The rotating strikes started on October 22 at 12:01 am local time in and around Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor and Halifax. Beginning 12:01 am local time October 23, the rotating strike action hit the Greater Toronto Area (excluding Scarborough) and most of the 905-region.


Read more: New Canada Post contracts fail to end looming strike threat


On October 24, The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)’s rotating strike extended to Kelowna, B.C. and Calgary, Alta.

Rotating strikes hit Vancouver at 9 a.m., October 26, while strikes began in Saint John, N.B. and Sudbury, Ont., at 12:01 a.m. and in Niagara Falls, Ont., at 10 a.m. (local times).

On October 28, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) announced it will conduct rotating strikes in Winnipeg, Man., beginning at 10 p.m. local time.

On October 29, rotating strikes began in Pickering, Ont., at 4 a.m.; Oshawa, Ont., at 6 a.m.; Thunder Bay, Ont., at 1 a.m.; and in Brandon, Man., at 12:01 a.m. (local times). Strikes also continued in Niagara Falls, Ont., and in ÎIes-de-la-Madeleine, Que.

On October 31, the union began strike action in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I., at 12:01 a.m. local time. Strike action also began in Sorel, St-Jean, Valleyfield, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., at 7:00 a.m. local time.

Meanwhile, strike action in Regina, Sask., Hamilton and North Bay, Ontario and in the Outaouais and Mauricie regions of Quebec began on November 1. CUPW also conducted strikes in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, on Vancouver Island (Campbell River, Courtenay, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni), B.C., and Moncton, N.B.

While negotiations continue, on November 2 CUPW began strike action in Grande Prairie, Alta., Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins, Ont. and the Bois-Francs region of Quebec. CUPW also conducted strikes in St. John’s, N.L., Moncton, N.B., Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton, Ont., and Regina, Sask.

On November 5, strike action extended to Barrie, Simcoe, St. Catharines, Welland, Guelph, Fort Erie and Brantford, Ont. CUPW is also conducting strikes in London, Scarborough and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in Carbonear, Exploits Valley, Gander-Lewisporte, Deer Lake, St. Anthony and Stephenville, N.L., and in Bois-Francs region, Que. Meanwhile, strikes have ended in Moncton, N.B.

While negotiations continue, on November 7 the union started strikes in Quebec City, Que., Fredericton, St. Stephen, Woodstock, Miramichi, Acadie Bathurst, Campbellton and Edmunston, N.B., and Chatham, Clinton, Georgetown, Milton, Orangeville, Port Hope, Stratford, Strathroy, Tillsonburg, Wingham and Woodstock, Ont. Since November 6, CUPW also shut down Canada’s largest processing centre in Toronto for a second time in three weeks. Meanwhile, strikes ended in Scarborough, Pickering, London, Barrie, Sarnia, Amherstburg, Delhi, St. Thomas and Owen Sound, Ont., as well as in the Saguenay Lac St-Jean, Hautes-Laurentides and Mont-Joli regions of Quebec.

On November 8, strikes hit Cranbrook, Kamloops, Penticton, Quesnel, Vernon and Williams Lake, B.C., and in Brantford, Oshawa, Guelph, Midland, Orillia and Parry Sound, Ont. Strikes also continued in St-Hyacinthe, Farnham, Rivière-du-Loup, Matane, Chibougamau and Côte-Nord region including Baie-Comeau, Que., and in Truro, New Glasgow, Pictou, Antigonish, Port Hawkesbury, Breton, Sydney, Annapolis Valley, Bridgewater, Liverpool, Cumberland and Yarmouth, in Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, strikes ended in Belleville, Brockville, Cornwall, Kingston, Lindsay and Newmarket, Ont., as well as in all other locations in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

The union began job action on November 9 in Hawkesbury, Alexandria, Napanee, Collingwood, Muskoka, Pembroke, Hearst, Englehart, New Liskeard and Kirkland Lake, Ont. Rotating strikes also continued in Gaspé area, Granby area (including Acton Vale, Eastman, Sutton and Cowansville), Drummondville and Rimouski, Que., in Goose Bay, Labrador City and Wabush, N.L., and in Cranbrook, Kamloops, Penticton, Quesnel, Vernon and Williams Lake, B.C.

On November 10, the CUPW resumed rotating strikes at a major processing centre in Vancouver. CUPW has also begun job action in Whitehorse, Yukon, and in Creston, Elk Valley, Golden, Grand Forks, Kimberley, Kitimat, Powell River, Prince Rupert, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, Smithers, Sunshine Coast and Terrace, B.C. Rotating strikes also continued in the Gaspé area, Que., and in Kamloops, B.C. Meanwhile, strikes ended in the Granby area (including Acton Vale, Eastman, Sutton and Cowansville), Drummondville and Rimouski, Que.; in Hawkesbury, Alexandria, Napanee, Collingwood, Muskoka, Pembroke, Hearst, Englehart, New Liskeard and Kirkland Lake, Ont.; in Goose Bay, Labrador City and Wabush, N.L.; and in Cranbrook, Penticton, Quesnel, Vernon and Williams Lake, B.C.

On November 13, Canada Post’s major processing centre in Vancouver was shut down from Friday evening to Tuesday morning and Toronto was shut down, significantly impacting its ability to process mail and parcels. In Toronto alone, more than 180 trailers full of parcels, packets and mail sit idle as the union shut down the facility for a third time in less than a month. Canada Post explains striking to shut down a processing facility impacts the operations at that location and also chokes the flow of mail and parcels to the delivery facilities.

On November 14, Canada Post tabled a time-limited offer to CUPW in an effort to resolve negotiations. The offer, Canada Post explains, improves pay increases for all employees and includes a signing bonus of up to $1,000 and aims to addresses many of CUPW’s concerns around health and safety and workloads. Given the urgency created by the backlogs and rapidly oncoming holiday volumes, the offer will be open for acceptance until 11:59 p.m. on November 17.

The CUPW began strikes on November 16 in Kelowna, as well as in the main cities of Manitoba: Winnipeg (except the processing plant), Brandon, Portage la Prairie, The Pas, Dauphin, Flin Flon and Thompson. Strikes also continued in Saint John, N.B., Edmonton, Alta. and Victoria, B.C. Meanwhile, strikes ended in Moncton, N.B. and in Port Hope, Orangeville, Scarborough and Toronto, Ont.

While negotiations continue, the CUPW continued strike activity in Kelowna, B.C., in Edmonton, Alta., and in Saint John, N.B., on November 17. The same day, strikes ended in Victoria, B.C. and in the main cities of Manitoba: Winnipeg (except the processing plant), Brandon, Portage la Prairie, The Pas, Dauphin, Flin Flon and Thompson.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, representing 50,000 of the Crown agency’s employees, filed a notice to strike last week after the two sides have been bargaining separate contracts for the carrier’s urban and rural employees for 10 months, mainly over wages and working conditions.

According to The Canadian Press, Canada Post says its proposals include improvements to pay, benefits and job security, but CUPW says the contracts offer limited job security, particularly for rural and suburban carriers. The union also says Canada Post rejected demands that those same carriers get paid an hourly rate – and for all hours worked – and that the corporation guarantee minimum hours.

This is a developing story. Please stay tuned for updates.

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