Members of the Chatham post office picket outside the facility, taking their turn in the rotating Canada Post strike. November 7, 2018. (Photo by Greg Higgins)

“Enough is enough”. Postal union losing patience

The president of a local union representing postal workers is saying the members have had it with how negotiations have gone.

Employees with Canada Post have been enduring a series of rotating strikes since October 23, with one of the first cities affected being Windsor. Now with the strikes going on for over three weeks, Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Local 630 president Phil Lyons said the rank-and-file are losing patience with what is perceived as a lack of progress in bringing the labour dispute to an end.

There has been speculation that if the rotating strikes continue much longer, the Liberal government in Ottawa could introduce legislation to force the employees back to work and end the rotating strikes. Lyons, whose local represents postal workers in Windsor, told BlackburnNewsWindsor.com that he believes Canada Post never showed real interest in reaching an agreement in the first place.

“I don’t know that we wouldn’t defy legislation because enough is enough,” said Lyons. “I mean, it’s so obvious now that they never had any intention of negotiating this contract. It does not take 11 months to negotiate a contract, it’s simply impossible.”

Lyons understands that the focus of Canada Post’s services have changed over recent years, with the majority of their business now concerning the shipping of parcels rather than letters, but he believes the only thing Canada Post is doing to get employees’ attention is to instill fear.

“It’s been going on now ever since the crash in 2008. They’ve used scare tactics,” said Lyons. “In 2016, we settled for a status-quo contract and our members are just not happy.”

With the holiday season quickly approaching, the shipping of parcels is increasing by the day, with a peak expected to start, according to Lyons, in the beginning of December and running through the end of January.

“It would definitely do a lot of harm, and the problem being Canada Post knows, and they know damn well that there’s no parcel company that can handle the influx of parcels that’s happened over the past five years, it’s just that online shopping has taken off,” said Lyons.

With rotating strikes ongoing, Canada Post said they are working hard to minimize the impact on service, but the strikes are causing a backup in their delivery network, meaning service on certain items can be delayed several days.

–with files from Adelle Loiselle