Locked out postal workers in South Surrey Wednesday.

Mail service halts as postal strike becomes lockout

Canada Post said it had to act, Ottawa mulls legislation

Rotating strike action by postal workers at selected cities has turned into a full lockout at all urban centres by Canada Post.

The corporation’s decision halts urban mail delivery and could lead Parliament to consider back-to-work legislation as early as next week.

“A lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse and force the union to seriously consider the proposals that address the declining mail volumes and the $3.2-billion pension deficit,” Canada Post said in a statement Tuesday.

“If we allow the uncertainty created by the rotating strikes to continue, our ability to remain financially self-sufficient and not become a burden on Canadian taxpayers will be in jeopardy.”

No new talks are scheduled so far but the union has demanded a meeting with Canada Post’s CEO.

Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt told CTV News her staff will reassess the impact to the economy and public interest before contemplating legislating the 48,000 urban postal workers back to work.

She indicated Parliament would deal with the Air Canada strike first.

Canada Post said the corporation has lost more than $100 million in revenue since the rotating strikes began June 3.

Canada Post had already cut service to three days a week in response to shrinking demand as uncertainty from the strike led customers to use competing services or switch to online alternatives.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said management was “irresponsible” to lock out the workers.

“There is now a considerable amount of mail in the system that will not be delivered,” the union said in a statement.

“Canada Post is reneging on its responsibility to the public to deliver mail that has been paid for. We committed to deliver pension and social assistance cheques and we intend to fulfil that commitment.”

The union had asked for wage hikes of 3.3 per cent in the first year and 2.75 per cent in each of the next three years.

Canada Post offered a four-year contract lifting pay 1.9 per cent in each of the first three years and 2.0 per cent in the fourth.

Issues at the table include changing technology, job procedures and concessions on wages and benefits for new hires.

Postal workers currently make at least $23 an hour, however Canada Post wanted the starting wage for new hires to begin at $19 an hour.

Canada Post says it must address labour costs as a result of a 17 per cent drop in letter-mail business since 2006 due to a rise in online bill payments and other electronic communications.

 

 

Just Posted

Central Okanagan emergency support volunteers sought

Volunteers needed in Lake Country area

Okanagan Military Tattoo returns

Performances July 28 and July 28

Rockets topple Prince Albert Raiders

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Raiders Saturday night

Heat couldn’t clip Thunderbird’s wings

The Thunderbirds defeated the Heat Saturday night and continued winning streak

Heat taken down by Thunderbirds

The women’s volleyball team fell to the Thunderbirds Saturday night

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

UBC Okanagan hosts gala evening of fun, art and entertainment

The annual event is celebrating its 17th anniversary

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Most Read