A 24-hour rotating strike by Canadian Union of Postal Workers is underway Thursday in Cranbrook.

Rotating postal strike hits Cranbrook

Union, Canada Post remain far apart over labour issues as federal intervention looms

A rotating strike between Canada Post and a union representing postal workers has hit Cranbrook again as the two sides remain far apart in reaching a negotiated settlement.

However, the federal labour minister signalled on Thursday that the Liberals may introduce back-to-work legislation as a last resort.

“This ongoing work stoppage has had significant negative impacts on Canadians, businesses, international commerce, Canada Post, its workers and their families,” said Patty Hajdu, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “Canadians and businesses rely on Canada Post and its workers, especially during the busy retail season. With Canadians and Canadian businesses feeling serious impacts, our government is prepared to legislate a path forward to keep goods moving for Canadians.”

WATCH: Cranbrook postal workers on 24-hour strike

That doesn’t sit well with both national and local members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

“This government has said they agree that a negotiated settlement is the best resolution in the long run, they believe in free collective bargaining and agreed to renew the mandate of the mediator Morton Mitchnick for a short period of time,” according to a bulletin posted on the union website on Tuesday. “CUPW believes that the threat of back-to-work legislation will undermine the chances of negotiated settlements. We’ll do our best to reach a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible with the assistance of the mediator. We will see shortly if this was a real attempt to achieve negotiated settlements.

Brent Bush, the president of CUPW Local 728, said the potential back-to-work legislation means that Canada Post doesn’t need to make any concessions, knowing that the federal government is going to intervene.

Bush pointed to a 2016 ruling in an earlier labour dispute between the federal government and the union, which successfully challenged back-to-work legislation introduced in 2011 after the presiding judge found it violated charter rights.

“We’ve been legislated back to work before and it’s a fundamental assault on free collective bargaining rights and we’re just not going to take it anymore,” said Bush.

A mediator has been reappointed to try and bridge the gap between the two sides, as outstanding issues include overburdening of letter carriers, employee health and safety, pay equity, time worked for time paid, and more.

“We’ve tried to use rotating strikes, minimize the impact to the public in order to put pressure on Canada Post,” said Bush. “This is our fourth week of rotating strikes and it doesn’t appear that pressure has persuaded Canada Post to come to the negotiating table. They are so far apart; it’s incredible how far apart we are.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Castlegar musician holding benefit launch party

Steve Marc is releasing his album Feb 21

Supreme Court of Canada will hear Sinixt appeal May 12

B.C. has appealed Indigenous hunting case through several levels of court starting in Nelson in 2016

Burglar swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

Take a dip and raise money for a critical Greater Trail cause

The hospice society’s Swimathon goes March 5 in the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Shuttle service at Trail hospital will remain for now

“ … shuttle service will remain in place while work on the new drop-off area … continues.”

Okanagan animal sanctuary seeks to fit frostbitten baby goat with prosthetic leg

Fundraiser started to help Zuri, newest resident of Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary

UPDATE: Two killed in fiery collision on Highway 1 near Revelstoke

The Trans Canada Highway was closed for four hours

Father, two children killed after car goes over embankment on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

Trout ‘doing quite well’ at Kootenay hatchery after otters, who ate 150 fish, relocated

River otters had been pillaging a moat outside the facility for months, gobbling up about 150 trout

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

Trudeau revisits blackface embarrassment during Black History Month

Photos and a video of Trudeau wearing makeup to darken his skin surfaced during last fall’s election campaign

Most Read