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Postal workers legislated back to work; struggle continues

UPDATE Nov. 26 – The senate approved a Canada Post back-to-work bill (53-25 with four abstaining), ending the rotating strikes. Postal workers expected to be back on the job Tuesday, Nov. 27 in the afternoon.

Canada Post states it is stabilizing operations and due to an unprecendented backlog, asks customers to expect delivery delays for the next several weeks.
The postal union CUPW states the struggle is not over.
“In the coming days, we will be calling on our allies and membership for a campaign of mobilizations, demonstrations and non-violent civil disobedience,” states the CUPW website. “All options remain on the table to achieve negotiated collective agreements that address health and safety, equitable treatment, fair wages and working conditions, and the democratic right to free collective bargaining.”

Canada Post’s current outlook:
-Parcels: Deliveries will continue but be delayed during the peak holiday season and into January 2019. Existing backlogs are expected to worsen this week due to high volumes from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
-Lettermail: The backlog should be cleared and deliveries current before December 25.
-International parcels: Delays are likely to stretch into March of 2019. International items will require screening by the Canada Border Services Agency. We are working in partnership with them to manage the significant existing backlog.
-direct marketing mail: We expect to be current before December 25, but some delays may occur and time-sensitive pieces will be delivered on a best-effort basis.

Union rejects offer – delays in mail continue

UPDATE Nov. 18: Stating it doesn’t address core issues, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) rejected the latest contract offer from Canada Post and rotating strikes are expected to continue.

More than 400 trailers, each with some 2,500 parcels and packets waiting to be processed, are sitting at the nation’s largest processing facility in Mississauga.

No guarantee ‘it’s in the mail’; expect delays

UPDATE Nov. 16 –  While Canada Post awaits an answer on a time-limited (Saturday) offer to the CUPW union in effort to resolve issues that will hamper holiday shopping, packages from international shippers will not be in the mail until the dispute has been resolved.

Britain’s Royal Mail announced it is suspending shipments to Canada at Canada Post’s request, and online marketing giant eBay said it has also received a similar notice from China Post.

Royal Mail states items shipped in the last few days bound for Canada are to be held in its distribution centre until the dispute is resolved. It adds the move was made at Canada Post’s request as the crown corporation is now facing delays of up to 30 days in delivering packages.

eBay called on the federal government to legislate an end to the rotating walkouts which began Oct. 22.

Canada Post states the strikes have touched virtually every Canada Post facility and every Canadian address.

UPDATE NOV 13: Canada Post has suspended delivery time guarantees for customers citing lack of progress in contract talks with its union workers Tuesday, as a fourth week of rotating strikes begins.

Talks made little progress despite involvement of a mediator whose mandate expired over the weekend.

Delivery delays are to be expected, Canada Post stated, after the Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and British Columbia.

CUPW walked off the job early Tuesday in Toronto at a distribution centre in Scarborough leaving more than 180 trailers containing parcels and mail, the post office stated. Since Oct. 22, CUPW’s rotating strikes have shut down operations in more than 200 communities across the country.

The union seeks Canada Post to address issues of health and safety, staffing, over-burdening, job security, fair wages and a better work-life balance.

The federal government has noted it could intervene, and may do so ahead of the holiday online shopping rush. The former Conservative government passed back-to-work legislation in 2011 to force an end to a Canada Post strike, ending a two-week lockout by the Crown agency.

Rotating mail strikes hit Picton

NOV 7 – Canada Post customers should expect delays for parcel and mail delivery.

Picton’s Post Office is closed Wednesday – though Bloomfield’s is open – as Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) from Belleville, Brockville, Cornwall, Kingston and Lindsay locals walked off the job this morning. Picton’s is considered a “processing” centre.

CUPW members are without agreements for the Urban Postal Operations and Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) bargaining units after almost a year of negotiations.

Canada Post reports CUPW shut down its largest processing centre in Toronto last night for a second time in three weeks. Toronto is a key processing hub for mail and parcels in Canada. It was shut down by the union for two consecutive days in October.

“The escalating strikes have now shut down our three largest processing facilities in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal up to 48 hours. Combined, those three plants can process a million parcels and packets a day for communities across the country,” said Canada Post in a statement. “This will worsen the backlogs at our facilities and customers should expect delays of several days for mail or parcel deliveries,” said Canada Post in a statement.

Canada Post said prior to the union’s decision to target Toronto again, the number of trailers full of parcels and packets waiting to be unloaded and processed at a Canada Post facilities sat at more than 150.

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