Postal carriers picketed through rain and snow and sleet today in Kenora. Chuck Cadger says they've been without a contract for close to a year, and they want better compensation for the work they do.
"It's time to take some action and get things rolling," he said.
Workers from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers also picketed in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay yesterday. Management noted delays in customer service may occur, as their facility in Montreal has been impacted.
The rotating strikes hit Toronto last week, as 9,000 workers walked out, after weeks of warning. Federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu of Thunder Bay appointed a former chairman of the province's labour relations board to contract talks, in an effort to find a resolution.
A major issue for picketers is getting paid properly for the hours they work. While urban carriers or parcel delivery drivers get paid for an eight-hour day, rural counterparts get compensated based on their route, and Cadger says it takes longer to complete the work than management allows. For example, the union member might only get paid for 6.5 hours of work, even if it takes them 10 hours to complete it.
"It's not fair," Cadger said simply, stating it was a major issue.
Management maintains they've been negotiating in good faith. However, the union disputes this, saying there's been talks with a mediator for close to a year with little movement.
Even though the eight workers on the picket were out in the rain, sleet and snow for no pay this morning, Cadger said their mood was upbeat.
"We're out here for a reason. We're fighting for our rights, our benefits, our working conditions," he noted.
Their last two-year agreement contract was signed during a review of Canada Post, and the previous contract was a four-year deal that included rollbacks.
Government cheques for those on assistance or fixed payments can now be moved to direct deposit.
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