Update: Postal workers in Ottawa and the Outaouais region went back to work Friday morning. Read more here.
Unionized Canada Post workers in Arnprior-Renfrew ended their one-day strike on Thursday morning, but postal workers in Ottawa who walked out on Wednesday morning continue to staff the picket line.
Canada Post mail and packages will not be processed or delivered while job action is ongoing and residents cannot pick up their mail, either.
Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have been striking on a rotating basis since Oct. 22, in an effort to put pressure on Canada Post as the two parties try to negotiate new collective agreements for unionized urban and rural workers.
The rotating strikes have typically lasted about 24 hours, but union members of the Ottawa local appear to be participating in a longer walkout.
Those striking workers in the national capital were joined on Thursday morning by unionized employees in the Outaouais region in western Quebec, which includes Gatineau. The Outaouais-Québécois union local kicked off its job action at 5 a.m. ET.
The union’s senior leadership continues to choose when and where rotating strikes will start and stop, a union spokesperson confirmed on Thursday morning.
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Canada Post services and operations continue as normal in locations that aren’t participating in job action. However, in its latest update on Thursday morning, the corporation continued to tell customers to expect days-long delays as strike activity continues across the country and mail backlogs increase at its three largest processing facilities.
“Trailers full of parcels, packets and mail waiting to be unloaded and processed are backlogged in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, with more arriving,” the online update said. “Once processed, these items have to be delivered without overburdening our delivery employees.
“As a result, customers could see delays of several days.”
The union, which represents 50,000 postal employees, says major issues of concern in the negotiations are members’ working conditions, job security and forced overtime, among others.
Canada Post said it has made “significant offers” to the union, including “increased wages, job security, and improved benefits,” without asking for any concessions.
The federal government appointed a special mediator to assist the corporation and the union negotiate a new deal.
The most recent job action shuffle brings the number of union locals participating in rotating strikes to seven (as of 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday):
- Hamilton, Ont.
- La Mauricie, Que.
- Moncton, N.B.
- North Bay, Ont.
- Ottawa, Ont.
- Outaouais-Québécois, Que.
- Regina, Sask.