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Canada Post workers strike in three small communities

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Canada Post workers strike in three small communities
There is no immediate end in site for the Canada Post strike. Posties from three smaller communities - Carbonear in Newfoundland, Sioux Lookout in Ontario, and Salmon Arm in BC - will hit the bricks tonight at 11 EDT, following their fellow postal workers in Montreal and Toronto.
PHOTO CREDIT - Canada Post

Cornwall - Jun. 14, 2011 - There is no immediate end in site for the Canada Post strike. Posties from three smaller communities - Carbonear in Newfoundland, Sioux Lookout in Ontario, and Salmon Arm in BC - will hit the bricks tonight at 11 EDT, following their fellow postal workers in Montreal and Toronto.

Although their numbers come nowhere near to matching the thousands on the picket lines today in Montreal and Toronto, the roughly 23 postal workers in these three small rural towns play just as significant a role in their communities, says the union representing them.

"These are communities that know the value of good public postal service," said Jeff Callaghan, National Director of the Atlantic region for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

"We process and deliver mail to everybody, no matter where they live," said Mark Evard, CUPW National Director of the Central region. "Fed-Ex and UPS can't match that. These communities will feel the impact of Canada Post's lockout as much as the big urban centres."

The union claims that - Canada Post has locked out postal workers across the country for two days a week, in addition to laying off numerous temporary and casual workers. Although the union has offered to suspend its rotating strikes on condition that its workers are temporarily protected by the old collective agreement, Canada Post has refused, cutting their hours instead.

"We appreciate the support of people in small communities when we're on the picket lines," said John Bail, National Director of the Pacific region. "They know Canada Post's bully tactics aren't right."

Meanwhile, Canada Post countered that the strike is inflicting significant losses.

Financial losses are mounting at Canada Post as the rotating strike being carried out by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) enters its 12th day. Canada Post estimates that it has lost over $70 million in revenue - and that figure is climbing daily.

Exacerbating the problems is the fact that Canada Post is continuing to incur a significant wage bill for 48,000 members of CUPW while their union inflicts massive losses on the company through costly rotating strikes.

The uncertainty of where CUPW members will strike from day-to-day has made it difficult for Canada Post to plan its logistics and transport network let alone the staffing levels. Today's strike action in the two largest metropolitan centres in Canada where over 60% of national mail volume originates will cripple the whole postal network. If rotating strikes continue to impact the business at this pace, Canada Post will not be in a position to sustain its operations across the country.

Canada Post is disappointed with the union's refusal to accept the company's fair and reasonable offer - one that provides job security, a defined benefits pension plan and annual wage increases. Therefore, the company is urging the union to accept its offer and not cause further inconvenience to Canadians.


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