Postal worker Jas Palta shares his feelings about Canada Post after the Canadian Union of Postal Workers was locked out on Tuesday night.

Victoria postal workers locked out by Canada Post

labour

  • Jun. 16, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Rotating strike action by postal workers at selected cities turned into a full lockout by Canada Post Tuesday night.

Employees with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers at the Glanford Avenue plant in Saanich were told by Canada Post to stop working around 8 p.m.

“They were informed they have to cease working and leave the premises,” said Janet Barney, president of CUPW Victoria. “(Canada Post is) saying that they’ve lost $100 million (since the rotating strike began June 3), which we’d like to see how they calculated that – we don’t believe it’s true.”

The corporation’s decision halts urban mail delivery and could lead Parliament to consider back-to-work legislation as early as next week.

“A lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse and force the union to seriously consider the proposals that address the declining mail volumes and the $3.2-billion pension deficit,” Canada Post said in a statement Tuesday.

“If we allow the uncertainty created by the rotating strikes to continue, our ability to remain financially self-sufficient and not become a burden on Canadian taxpayers will be in jeopardy.”

Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt told CTV News her staff will reassess the impact to the economy and public interest before contemplating legislating the 48,000 urban postal workers back to work.

Canada Post had already cut service to three days a week in response to shrinking demand as uncertainty from the strike led customers to use competing services or switch to online alternatives.

In a statement, the CUPW said management was “irresponsible” to lock out the workers.

“Canada Post is reneging on its responsibility to the public to deliver mail that has been paid for. We committed to deliver pension and social assistance cheques and we intend to fulfil that commitment.”

The union had asked for wage hikes of 3.3 per cent in the first year and 2.75 per cent in each of the next three years.

Canada Post offered a four-year contract lifting pay 1.9 per cent in each of the first three years and two per cent in the fourth.

Issues at the table include changing technology, job procedures and concessions on wages and benefits for new hires.

Postal workers currently make at least $23 an hour, however Canada Post wanted the starting wage for new hires to begin at $19 an hour.

Canada Post says it must address labour costs as a result of a 17-per-cent drop in letter-mail business since 2006 due to a rise in online bill payments and other electronic communications.

– with files from Kyle Slavin

editor@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

B.C. Transit saves $300,000, scores 28 used fareboxes idle in California

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Tenants above Wellburns uncertain after ‘nightmare’ sewage flood ousts them indefinitely

Tenants evacuated after sewage flooded basement of century-old building

Victoria cycling community raises concern over new bike lane designs

High traffic along a corridor needs to be considered, Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition says

Hundreds of students gather at Government House to decorate Christmas Trees

The annual tradition let Grade 2 and 3 students help celebrate for the holidays

Trauma sufferers support group takes shape on West Shore

Aaron’s Society open to more peer support groups with certified trauma practitioners

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Camosun College for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Most Read