Canada Post strike comes to Calgary
Rotating work stoppages also hit Kelowna and Toronto on Wednesday
Rotating Canada Post strikes have hit Calgary, but the city says residents should expect “the same level of service” through an external courier service it is working with.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers announced on social media that locals in Calgary, Kelowna and Toronto went on strike as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The union, which represents 50,000 Canada Post employees, started rotating strikes in four cities across the country earlier this week. The 24-hour strikes began just after midnight on Monday in Victoria, Edmonton and Windsor, and around 1 a.m. in Halifax.
But the City of Calgary announced Monday it had made arrangements to ensure the continuity of customer service and business operations during any disruption of postal service. It said it planned to work with the courier service to ensure deliveries of critical material to citizens and businesses go ahead.
“We’re committed to ensuring Calgarians continue to receive the same level of service they are used to from the City of Calgary during the mail service disruption,” the city’s manager of information technology, Ian Lofthouse, said in a news release.
The job action began after negotiators failed to reach a new contract agreement before the union’s Monday strike deadline.
Calgary officials reminded residents they can access and pay for most services online, including applying for a business licence and paying a parking ticket. Payments for things including property and business taxes can be made at most banks, through online banking or in person at the Calgary Municipal Building.
Provincial officials said Alberta has an agreement with Canada Post to ensure Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit and Alberta Child Benefit cheques are delivered during a postal disruption. Payments are expected to be delivered within a few days of regular delivery. Plans are also underway to ensure cheques are distributed for income support, AISH, Family Support for Children with Disabilities and Persons with Developmental Disabilities benefits. Recipients are being encouraged to arrange for direct deposit in order to avoid any payment delays.
Child care and child and youth support program cheques will be available for pick up in most local offices, and an agreement is also in place to make sure benefit cheques for seniors programs are delivered.
Any driver’s licences and identification cards that are currently in progress will be held at the manufacturer’s site until mail disruption is over, the province said. If needed, the expiry dates for interim driver’s licences will be extended during mail service disruption.
Canada Post said it has made “significant offers to CUPW which include increased wages, job security, and improved benefits” and that it has not asked for any concessions in return.
“We value the relationship with the union and have been able to find common ground on some issues and have also committed to work together constructively on several important files,” it stated. “Those include working together to address employees workload concerns caused by parcel growth, additional financial services and going beyond pay equity for Rural and Suburban employees by extending job security and moving to one uniform for all delivery employees.”
Canada Post workers picket the Edmonton Downtown Delivery Depot on Monday.