Postal workers across the country could be on strike as early as next week. Negotiations between the union and Canada Post stalled back in June and Local 812 President Tami Brushey says there’s been no real progress since then.
“If there are no changes between now and tomorrow, the union will be issuing a 72 hour notice of strike activity. There hasn’t really been any movement from Canada Post on the major issues. They want the ability to close retail outlets that are protected under our current collective agreement.”
Brushey says that move would eliminate 1200 positions at nearly 500 offices across the country.
Other issues include a new pension structure for new workers, which the union is against and pay equity for rural postal workers, who currently make nearly 30% less than their urban counterparts. Brushey says the majority of rural postal workers are women.
The union conducted a strike vote back in June but that mandate expires tomorrow. With little progress at the negotiating table, issuing a strike notice is one of the union’s few options.
“We certainly don’t want to impact the workers or the public. We have to issue a 72 hour notice or we lose our strike mandate. We’re certainly not looking for an all out strike. We’re looking for a negotiated collective agreement.”
Brushey says talks with Canada Post have been frustrating.
“They’re not looking to increase revenues or grow their business at all. It’s important that people know that they’re looking to maintain what they’ve got strictly by cutting their workforce and coming after us.”
Canada Post made nearly $100 million in profit last year, according to Brushey, and posted a $44 million profit in the first quarter of 2016.