Canada Post workers in Cornwall walk off the job
Canada Post workers in Cornwall walked the picket lines Monday, joining nine other cities participating in rotating strikes across the country.
There was no mail delivery or letter sorting at Cornwall post offices Monday, where about 150 Canada Post workers walked off the job.
"You can't take away all of those benefits in one wave of their wand. We don't feel that it's fair. And that's why we're out on the picket line and we're fighting back with Canada Post to say that enough is enough and we deserve to be treated like people and not walked upon," said Garry Power, a Canada Post employee in Cornwall.
Canada Post has been holding rotating strikes across the country since June 2 to protest the labour dispute. The main sticking points include pensions, staffing and short-term disability.
Last week, Canada Post announced mail volume had dropped by 50 per cent, and the Crown corporation couldn't afford to continue operating at full staffing levels.
As a result, the company said it would scale back to three shifts per week for urban letter carriers as opposed to the usual five.
Denis Lemelin, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, says Canada Post's decision to reduce mail delivery in urban areas will be a far greater inconvenience to Canadians than the union's rotating strikes.
Lemelin says he believes Canada Post wants to force the union into a general strike that will result in back to work legislation for employees.
"Canada Post is doing everything it can to provoke the union into a national walkout in the hope that the government will intervene," Lemelin said in a statement on Monday.
Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt had called for an end to the strike and service cutbacks on Friday, but the union said it would only do so if management re-instated the current collective agreement.
Those who collect their mail from rural or community mailboxes will not see any changes because they are serviced by postal workers covered by a separate collective agreement.
With files from The Canadian Press