Today’s Poll

Nelson mail reduced to three days delivery per week

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
June 16th, 2011

Nelson’s “snail” mail will be moving at an even slower pace as the national corporation has restricted local mail delivery in the city — and across the nation — to three days per week.

The local Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) are being locked out — on Tuesdays and Thursdays — in response to limited job action by the union nationwide.

In a statement from the Crown corporation they claim rotating action by the union has impacted postal volumes, meaning the workers are now being sent home twice per week without pay.

Despite the fact Canada Post Corporation (CPC) is a profitable Crown corporation and has been for a number of years, said BC Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko, Canada Post continues to expect concessions from the workers.

The union is asking CPC to negotiate in good faith, he said, to hold the line on proposed wage roll-backs, to appropriately address workplace safety issues and attend to other crucial issues.

According to Atamanenko’s assistant, Laurel Walton, who visited CUPW workers locked out at the Castlegar post office Wednesday morning, the workers were “defending the future of Canada. If Canada Post gets its way, it will signal a downward spiral in working conditions for workers and the well-being of retired persons nation-wide.”

Twelve days of “costly and damaging” rotating strikes being carried out by CUPW prompted Canada Post to suspend operations in Nelson and across the country.

“The accelerating decline in volumes and revenue combined with the inability to deliver mail on a timely and safe basis has left the company with no choice but to make this decision,” read a company statement.

“We believe that a lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse and force the union to seriously consider proposals that address the declining mail volumes and the $3.2-billion pension deficit.”

On Tuesday, federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt suggested that back-to-work legislation was not yet an option, unlike for the Air Canada strike, because the postal strike was not national in scale. The lockout now raises the possibility.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, representing some 50,000 workers, had accused the Crown corporation of trying to trigger a full strike by means of the service reduction in order to force the federal government to bring in back-to-work legislation.

Late Wednesday Canada Post chief executive officer Deepak Chopra said he was prepared to again meet with Denis Lemelin, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), to discuss the offer that has been tabled by the company.

Chopra had previously met with Lemelin after the union issued 72-hour notice of its intention to commence strike activities.

People who rely on government socio-economic cheques will still receive them. Canada Post signed an agreement with CUPW in March 2011 that would ensure socio-economic cheques continue to be delivered.

More than two million socio-economic cheques are scheduled to be delivered by regular mail on June 20 despite the current work disruption.

Categories: General


Other News Stories