Canada Post strike to begin tonight in Winnipeg

Postal workers begin rotating strikes where modernization program began

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is planning to begin rotating strikes in Winnipeg tonight, the province they say was first impacted by the company’s modernization program.

The Winnipeg local will be on strike for 24 hours, after which the strike will continue in other locations to be announced later, according to a notice on the union’s website.

Earlier this week, both parties met with Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and are working with a mediator. Negotiations began seven months ago.

The union recently rejecting Canada Post’s offer of reducing the starting wage rate for new employees by 22 per cent and putting them in a two-tier benefit plan. CUPW is asking for a 3.3 per cent wage increase in the first year of the contract and a 2.75 per cent increase in each of the following three years of the contract. Other key issues in the dispute are scheduling problems, forced overtime, delivery method problems and the integration of new technology.

Canada Post management says they are focusing on labour costs in this round of negotiations because wages and benefits make up 64 per cent of costs.

CUPW represents 48,000 mail carriers and inside postal workers across the country. They have been in a legal strike position since May 1, when 95 per cent of members voted in favour of legal action.

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