Rotating postal strikes return to Metro Vancouver, hit B.C. parcel hub
Rotating strikes by Canada Post workers have returned to Metro Vancouver.
Angu Parmar, third vice president for the Vancouver local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) said about 1,600 workers at a Richmond sorting facility walked off the job and were picketing on Saturday.
The facility sorts and dispatches parcels and mail for depots across the province.
“They will be missing delivery for sure on Monday or Tuesday. There’s a lot of mail inside,” said Parmar.
“It’s a parcel hub basically. Everything comes here for the whole province and we sort and dispatch it.”
Parmar said the union had opted for rotating strikes to get its message across to the employer while trying to minimize the impact on customers.
“We are hoping that Canada Post comes to the table and bargains with us,” she said.
The union said locals in all other B.C. communities that saw job action on Friday were back at work on Saturday.
In a statement on its website, Canada Post said it was working hard to maintain delivery services.
“But Vancouver is a key processing hub for mail and parcels in Canada. The union’s rotating strike will therefore have a significant impact on our operations and cause further backlogs of trailers,” it said.
“Canada Post will make every effort to minimize the impact, but customers across the country will continue to see delays for parcel and mail delivery.”
WATCH: Postal workers launch job action at Richmond, B.C. plant
Postal workers have been carrying out rotating strikes since Oct. 22, with the job action now having touched more than 150 communities.
1The rotating strike last targeted the Richmond facility on Oct. 26.
The union, which represents about 50,000 postal workers, says it is striking over health and safety concerns, forced overtime and what it says are issues related to the growing number of parcel deliveries.
Canada Post says it remains committed to the bargaining process, and that it has made offers to the union, including increased wages, job security and better health benefits without asking for any concessions.
The union and Canada Post have been unable to negotiate a new contract for the past year.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested he was running out of patience with the labour dispute, and that his government could act soon to end it if the two sides can’t reach a deal.
Labour Minister Patty Hadju appointed a special mediator in the dispute more than two weeks ago in an effort to help Canada Post and the union bridge their differences.
-With files from Amanda Connolly and the Canadian Press
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