Canada Post’s rotating strikes: Everything you need to know about it
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has begun a series of rotating strikes in four cities after negotiators failed to reach a last-minute deal Sunday evening.
The rotating strikes started Monday at 12:01 a.m. in Victoria, Edmonton and Windsor, and at 1:01 a.m. in Halifax (all local time) and lasted for 24 hours.
CUPW, which represents 50,000 postal employees, says it needs Canada Post to address issues that have stemmed from the explosive growth of parcel deliveries, including health and safety concerns and forced overtime.
On Tuesday, the strike moved to the Greater Toronto Area at 12:01 a.m. local time.
This means Canadians who rely on Canada Post could find themselves either forced to turn to other options, like Purolator or waiting for days for their package or letter to arrive.
Here is everything you need to know about the strike.
Where are the strike locations?
On Monday Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor and Halifax were hit with the 24-hour walkouts.
On Tuesday, almost 9,000 postal workers are off the job in the Greater Toronto Area.
Does this impact delivery?
According to Canada Post, mail and parcels will not be delivered or picked up in affected cities.
“Canada Post continues to operate across Canada. We are accepting and delivering mail and parcels in all other locations,” a spokesperson said.
Will the strike grow to other cities?
Currently, the rotating strikes have impacted Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor and Halifax and Toronto. But that could change to other regions if negotiations fail again.
“With rotating strikes, a new location or locations will be striking daily. We have not yet announced where strikes will be held tomorrow,” a union spokesperson said.
READ MORE: Is it time to get rid of Canada Post?
CUPW said the locations for the rotating strikes are chosen by the union’s senior leadership.
For updates on the strike, click here.
How long will the strike last for?
The strikes will last for 24 hours.
Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said the Crown corporation is committed to reaching a deal with the union and had an offer on the table that included wage hikes, job security, improved benefits and no concessions.
CUPW said job action will continue until Canada Post “gets serious about bargaining.”
WATCH: Canada Post union workers give strike notice after nearly a year after negotiations
Why a rotating strike?
A rotating strike means different Canada Post locations will walk out at different periods. CUPW said it opted for rotating strikes to minimize the impact of a postal disruption on customers.
What about cannabis orders?
Canada Post is the major delivery service used for legal cannabis orders in much of the country.
The strike could delay by up to a week some cannabis deliveries.
Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis said it may use Purolator to deliver cannabis orders — meaning some orders may be delayed a day or two.
WATCH: Ontario says it has backup plan for Cannabis deliveries amid potential Canada Post strike
CUPW Toronto local president Megan Whitfield said cannabis will get delivered but the timeline could change as the rotating strikes “intensifies,” and the one to three-day delivery will be extended.
What other delivery services can I use?
If you live in a city affected by the strike, there are other delivery methods to choose, such as Purolator, UPS and FedEx.
WATCH: Here are 3 other mailing service options during the Canada Post strike
Why are they striking?
The job action began after negotiators failed to reach a new contract agreement before the union’s Monday strike deadline.
Fifty thousand workers have been without a contract since last year and the main sticking point involves health and safety measures, job security, and forced overtime.
For example, urban letter carriers are paid by the hour while their rural counterparts are paid based on the size of their route, which clocks in at less than the carriers make being paid hourly.
Also part of the dispute are concerns over working conditions and expectations for how workers deliver the growing number of parcels being shipped through the service, while the number of actual letters continues to decline.
The union representing postal workers also wants to see the return of postal banking, which would see more paper documents shipped by mail.
What can the feds do?
Canada Post is considered an essential service, meaning the federal government can table legislation to force workers back on the job in the event of a strike.
In 2011, there was a postal worker strike followed by a two-week lockout by Canada Post management. But the Conservative government passed back-to-work legislation.
— With files from Global News’ Emily Mertz
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