THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO                                Four CUPW union members begun their strike today in Port Hardy.

THOMAS KERVIN PHOTO Four CUPW union members begun their strike today in Port Hardy.

Picket line established at Port Hardy post office

Four CUPW union members begun their strike early this morning, Oct. 31

Port Hardy’s postal office workers walked out today.

Canada Post workers stood their ground, despite early morning drizzle and cold temperatures, as they begun their strike. Port Hardy’s Canada Post workers established a picket line, Oct. 31, with four Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) union members walking back and forth outside the building. The protest at Port Hardy’s Canada Post is part of a BC-wide rotating strike, which includes a number of different Vancouver Island communities.

A sign clearly labelled “CUPW on strike,” hung on each of the workers’ shoulders. There were four picketers (out of 400 union workers on strike across BC) who explained to the North Island Gazette some of the concerns CUPW is working towards.

In a CUPW press release today, the union stated that “management refuses to address the urgent health and safety issues that have left postal workers the most injured group of workers in the federal sector,” the statement continued, “and the wage increases Canada Post so proudly talks about are well-below the expected inflation rate.”

The union then stated that the offers so far were not enough. “These offers are far from significant to us,” the union added.

According to Canada Post’s online Oct. 29 news release, “a special mediator appointed by the federal government joined the parties at an offsite location on Wednesday, October 24, and is working to help them reach a negotiated settlement. Canada Post remains committed to the bargaining process.”

“We have also committed to work together to address employees’ workload concerns,” the crown corporation added. The concerns were “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.”

The crown corporation has made offers to CUPW which included “increased wages, job security, and improved benefits, and it has not asked for any concessions in return,” according to the release.

Until an agreement is reached between management and union, CUPW plans on staying on the picket line.