Canada Post strike comes to Cal­gary

Ro­tat­ing work stop­pages also hit Kelowna and Toronto on Wednes­day

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - SAMMY HUDES

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.”

LARRY WONG

Canada Post work­ers picket the Ed­mon­ton Down­town De­liv­ery De­pot on Mon­day.

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