Local CUPW President Clark Rasmussen says Canada Post has gone “a little too far”.
Benefits for short-term disability was cut for workers on Monday due to rotating strike action across Canada.
“There have been people who have been hurt or off on cancer treatment, we also have people on maternity leave that are cut off from their top-up benefits, which is something our union wanted to be topped-up in the first place,” Rasmussen said.
“That’s going too far in our opinion and, for us as a union or any type of worker in Canada, it’s unacceptable.”
Canada Post Spokesperson Jon Hamilton sent a statement regarding this, it explained “[Canada Post] continues to provide them and their eligible dependents with important benefits, like dental care and prescription drugs. We also continue to provide long-term disability payments and their rate of pay remains the same”. It goes on to read a low number of calls regarding employees’ extenuating circumstances have been reviewed and all have been approved.
Any future strike decision will be made at the national level for Canada Post workers. Rotating strikes reached Prince George earlier this week, affecting approximately 130 CUPW workers for 24 hours. The most recent strike action was shown in Regina, Hamilton, North Bay, Outaouais, Mauricie, and Moncton to bring the total to over 60 communities nationwide.
“We won’t know [if PG workers will strike again] until shortly before, just like the first time it happened, but there is the possibility of that,” explained Rasmussen.
“We don’t want to be on strike, we want to be working. But the corporation continues to not negotiate in fairness so we have to do what we have to do.”
Hamilton countered this by saying there are issues that have been resolved.
“We’re not asking for any concessions or rollbacks. What we are putting on the table are wage increases, benefit improvements, extended job security to a number of employees, and working together on a number of other issues that the union has raised.”
Local workers are slightly optimistic as progress has been made in the right direction with a mediator. The mediator was appointed by the federal government on October 24. CUPW is asking for three main aspects of their job to be improved: Health and Safety; Equality, as a two-tier wage was implemented in 2013; and more full-time jobs to accommodate the workload.
Trucks are allegedly backlogged as strikes have shut down the three largest processing facilities in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
“We are working through that but customers should expect delays,” said Hamilton
Rasmussen believes this confirms it is decision time for Canada Post.
“This is a company that makes millions of dollars within millions of parcels every day across this country, and yet they are saying no to some demands that have to do with health and safety.
“We need more workers to do the work and that’s what we’re asking for.”
Customers can find updates from Canada Post here.