Canada Post workers in Courtenay went on strike Wednesday morning. Scott Stanfield photo

Comox Valley postal workers hit picket lines

Rotating strikes began Oct. 22

Canada Post workers in the Comox Valley joined their colleagues across the country Wednesday morning by taking to the picket lines.

Union workers in numerous Canadian communities, including Campbell River, Nanaimo and Port Alberni, have walked off the job since rotating strikes began Oct. 22.

“We don’t want to inconvenience the public, but we do want Canada Post sitting at the bargaining table,” said Mike Bryan, education officer for the Courtenay Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

Major issues include pay equity for rural routers, job security and over-burdening in terms of parcel volumes.

“We have members that work regularly two or three hours of (unpaid) overtime,” Bryan said, noting the injury rate for local carriers is significantly higher than the national average.

He also notes the two sides have been bargaining since last November.

“Our contract’s been expired since January, and we still haven’t had any significant talks with the corporation about our major issues. The wages they’re proposing are less than the cost of living.”

Meagan Goudreault, president of the CUPW Courtenay Local, said Canada Post is looking at a 1.5 per cent increase. She notes the proposed inflation rate for the short-term is over two per cent. Under a two-tier system, she said new employees earning $18/hour can be stuck at the starting wage for many years.

“There’s no filling of full-time positions since they slashed all those jobs (in 2011),” Goudreault said. “With all the parcel growth, they haven’t re-introduced any new jobs, so they’ve had the same amount of people working, but every year parcels are going up, like a million parcels being shipped per day.”

In a statement, Canada Post says it’s been working hard to minimize the service impact to Canadians. However, the union’s escalating strikes have shut down its three largest processing facilities in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal for up to 48 hours.

“Combined, these three plants process a million parcels and packets a day for communities across the country, and are key to our national, integrated delivery network.”

A special mediator appointed by the federal government joined the parties at an offsite location Wednesday, and is working to help them reach a negotiated settlement.

“Canada Post remains committed to the bargaining process,” the statement said. “The corporation has made significant offers to CUPW that include increased wages, job security and improved benefits, and it has not asked for any concessions in return. We value the relationship with the union and have been able to find common ground on some issues. We have also committed to work together to address employees’ workload concerns caused by parcel growth, additional financial services, and going beyond pay equity for rural and suburban employees by extending job security and moving to one uniform for all delivery employees.”



reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Most Read