Canada Post locks out workers

Canada Post has suspended urban operations nationwide, saying it had no other choice.

Canada Post has suspended urban operations nationwide, saying it had no other choice. Just before midnight Tuesday, Canada Post issued a release saying it has locked out employees after 12 days of “increasingly costly and damaging” rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). On Tuesday, about 15,000 Canada Post employees walked off the job as the rotating strikes hit Toronto and Montreal, two of the country’s largest urban centres. Canada Post said that the rotating strikes had led to nearly $100 million in lost revenue and have called into question the organization’s ability to remain financially self-sufficient and not “become a burden” on Canadian taxpayers. Union actions have compromised the viability of the organization, Canada Post said. “The accelerating decline in volumes and revenue combined with the inability to deliver mail on a timely and safe basis has left the company with no choice but to make this decision.” The release acknowledged that Canada Post and CUPW disagreed on several fundamental issues. Canada Post said it believed that a lockout would be the best way to arrive at a resolution. “We believe that a lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse and force the union to seriously consider proposals that address the declining mail volumes and the $3.2-billion pension deficit.” CUPW said that no notice was given and that Canada Post employees showing up for their shifts were taken by surprise. “I’m surprised but I’m not shocked that it occurred,” said Gerry Deveau, National Director of the Ontario Region of CUPW. Deveau said the union had received reports that a number of locations across Canada had been locked out earlier Tuesday. Deveau said it initially appeared that Canada Post was going to start selectively shutting down locations across the country until they were all locked out. “I certainly didn’t expect them to lock everyone out starting at 11:00 this evening,” he said. About 48,000 urban operation members are directly affected, Deveau said. Although Canada Post specified that the lockouts would only pertain to urban operations, Deveau said the lockout could potentially impinge upon mail to rural areas as well. “The mail processing plants are all operated by urban ops members, so if there’s no one there to sort the mail, I don’t know how a rural carrier is going to deliver that mail,” he said. Deveau speculated that the lockout “certainly has all the flavour of attempting to get the government to legislate us back to work,” as has been the case with the current Air Canada strike. Deveau said that he doesn’t think the move by Canada Post will be looked upon favourably by Canadians. “While I agree that rotating strikes slow the mail down, we certainly weren’t slowing it down a lot,” he said. “We weren’t taking out vast areas of the country simultaneously … We recognize that this hurts the Canadian public and that was one of the major reasons why we went to a rotating strike. Our struggle wasn’t against the citizens of Canada. Our struggle was with the corporation and we were merely trying to make a point to the corporation.” Deveau said legislation, if passed, could force Canada Post employees back to work in just four or five days. “But if the government doesn’t intervene and allows it to run its course and if the corporation maintains their rollbacks such as they’ve been proposing since day one, then this could be a very lengthy lockout, which obviously doesn’t benefit the citizens of Canada.” Representatives from Canada Post were not available for further comment. Email Print Add to Favourites Report an error Rss Top Stories: TTC won’t mail out July Metropasses GTA man’s home stolen Fury unleashed when city closes dog park In severe pain, bike accident victim must wait 2 weeks for surgery Photos Canada Post has suspended urban operations nationwide, saying it had no other choice. 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