Canada Post workers grudgingly back to work in Victoria

Canada Post workers grudgingly back to work in Victoria

Small businesses ‘not hurt,’ by postal strike, mail ‘not piling up,’ says union

Canada Post’s distribution centre on Glanford Avenue was busy on Tuesday morning as the postal workers rotating strikes came to an end.

David Hibbert, a Victoria postal worker of 12 years, laments the Liberal government’s reaction to force the unionized members back to work, calling it a masterfully played game by Canada Post administration.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers obliged, asking all workers to return to regular duty as of noon. The last time this happened was 2011 and before that, 1997.

“This whole situation was engineered by the corporation,” Hibbert said. “We’ve been out of a contract for a year, and they could have negotiated ahead of that. There wasn’t an offer until we started the rotating strike, this is engineered to get us forced back to work, it’s a plotted-out plan to get the public against us, they need to show it’s a crisis situation to legislate us back to work. It’s all part of a master plan.”

Read More: ‘We will fight in court if back to work legislation passes,’ postal union warns

That “plan” uses the hectic holiday season, and the modern day spike in parcel deliveries from online purchases, that comes with it, Hibbert said.

“We used to have mail service couriers handling the parcels, about 80 a day, now we have letter carriers doing more than 100 parcels a day plus their route,” Hibbert said. “It’s twice the work than what we used to do, all pushed into one.”

On top of that, parcels are getting heavier, and working beyond an eight-hour day has become commonplace, Hibbert added.

Jessica Dempster, president of the CUPW local 850, said the union is extremely disappointed.

“We wanted to negotiate a collective agreement, and to do it by using our charter rights to bargain,” Dempster said. “Disappointment might even be an understatement. We want to negotiate directly, not with an arbitrator that doesn’t know the business.”

Dempster said the union expected a different approach from the Liberal government, one which cancelled the Conservative government’s conversion of door-to-door service in 2015.

“We were happy that they saved the end of door-to-door delivery, but we weren’t happy they didn’t turn around and restore the regions that had been converted [such as Sidney], which they said they would do,” she said.

In the meantime, there is little evidence that the local post offices are behind.

“I heard someone in the senate saying there’s trailers just sitting there, but any trailers we have sitting there are from Nov. 22,” Dempster said. “I’m not seeing piles of overdue mail.”

“We striked to put Canada Post on its toes. We’re not hurting small businesses.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are investigating after several vehicles were smashed and a basement was flooded along lower Cook Street March 2. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating smashed vehicles, flooded basement on Cook Street

Police seeking witnesses, footage of several ‘mischief’ incidents

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Police, paramedics responded to a report of an unresponsive person early Wednesday

Hundreds of child care spaces will be available in Greater Victoria in the coming two years. (Unsplash)
More than 300 child care spaces opening in Greater Victoria in next two years

Province announces spaces in Victoria, Sooke, Saanich and North Saanich

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

Dozens of reports of sexualized violence against a former employee of downtown Victoria restaurant Chuck’s Burger Bar were posted online in January. A police investigation is ongoing. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Chuck’s Burger Bar closes its doors after sexual assault allegations

Victoria police investigating reports of sexual misconduct, assault by former restaurant employee

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered after Vancouver Island boat fire

Remains of a 60-year-old woman recovered after Feb. 27 boat fire took her life

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read