Canada Post Strike Hits 7 Days

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Canada Post workers who belong to the Union of Postal Communications Employees continued their series of rotating strikes Friday for the seventh day.


More than 700 union members targeted Canada Post operations in the Atlantic and the West.


Canada Post said delivery would be unaffected.


However, Canada Post has seen some disruptions. On Dec. 15, 300 union members shut down Canada Post call centers in Ottawa; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Fredericton, New Brunswick. On that day, Canada Post advised customers seeking mailing information to go to the company's Web site at www.canadapost.ca.


On Friday, members of the union, which is part of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, picketed in cities including St. John's, Newfoundland; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton in New Brunswick; Winnipeg; Regina and Saskatoon in Saskatchewan; Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta; and Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia.


On Dec. 16, hundreds of union members were on strike in Quebec City and in several Ontario cities including Hamilton, London and Windsor.


In November, the 2,500 PSAC members at Canada Post voted 73 percent in favor of a strike, which began Dec. 9. Issues include health benefits, severance pay, various leaves, job security, staffing of positions and wages. The postal communications employees have been without a contract since the end of October and have been negotiating with Canada Post since July.


"While talks continue with Canada Post, we have decided to increase the pressure on the employer by having picket lines in several cities at the same time," said Luc Guevremont, president of the Union of Postal Communications Employees. "Canada Post management must understand that our members will not accept less than what was negotiated with other employees."


PSAC members at Canada Post provide customer service and perform administrative, financial, technical and professional duties. They represent 4 percent of Canada Post's work force.


On Dec. 9, Canada Post said it was disappointed that the union rejected its contract offer and walked off the job.


"We made a comprehensive offer to the union that fairly reflects the interests of the employees while preserving the corporation's requirement to continue operating in a highly competitive business environment," said Mark MacDonell, general manager of labor relations at Canada Post.


Canada Post said its offer of a 42-month contract included wage increases in line with recent negotiated settlements throughout Canada as well as job security for all regular employees of the bargaining unit.


Along with an improved compensation package, Canada Post said it accepted the union's proposal to let part-time employees accrue pension benefits based on actual hours worked.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal issues for DM News.com. To keep up with the latest news subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter DM News Daily by visiting http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/newslettersub.cgi


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