Each of these strike-stranded trailers at Canada Post’s Gateway plant in Mississauga, Ont., includes 2,500 parcels and packages.
OTTAWA, Ont. – Parcels will soon be back on the move at Canada Post, with federal Liberals tabling back-to-work legislation to end rotating strikes that have reportedly stranded hundreds of trailers.
“This ongoing work stoppage has had significant negative impacts on Canadians, businesses, international commerce, Canada Post, its workers and their families. Canadians and businesses rely on Canada Post and its workers, especially during the busy retail season,” said Patty Hajdu, minister of employment, workforce development and labour. “With Canadians and Canadian businesses feeling serious impacts, our government is prepared to legislate a path forward to keep goods moving for Canadians.”
The strikes are now in their fifth week.
Millions of additional parcels are set to enter the system during tomorrow’s Black Friday and next week’s Cyber Monday online sales. Canada Post had already informed commercial customers that they couldn’t meet delivery commitments because of the strikes.
The worst delays for mail and parcels are expected to involve items moving through southern and southwestern Ontario.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) argues that Canada Post exaggerated the backlog, and says the 70 trailers that have been parked in Toronto could be cleared in a few days.
“We’re convinced that Canada Post manufactured a crisis just to get the government to intervene. If so, that’s a huge concern, and it will further poison our work environment and labour relations for years and years to come,” said Mike Palecek, CUPW national president.
The strikes have been raising concerns about issues like a rising workload for carriers.
The union says Canada Post faces a “serious injury crisis”, with an injury rate 5.4 times higher than the average federal worker, and blames the increasing loads of packages that are moved through e-commerce activities. Canada Post has proposed a $10 million fund to help it become a “model organization in safety.”
“We cannot go back to work at the busiest time of the year without fixing the issues that keep us injured and overworked,” Palecek said earlier in the month.
As of Thursday morning, strikes had moved to Pickering, Dryden, Elliot Lake and Blind River, Ont., while continuing in Acton, Georgetown, Tillsonburg, an Ajax delivery facility, and the Bolton post office. Strikes also continue in Calgary, and in Kamloops, B.C.