The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have gone on strike in Prince Rupert.
At 7 a.m. on Nov. 9, local workers began picketing outside the Canada Post on Second Avenue West.
The CUPW entered a legal strike position on Sept. 21 following months of negotiations with Canada Post over a wide range of issues including wages, benefits, work hours and equity.
On Oct. 16, the union issued a strike notice to Canada Post and on Oct. 21, they began rotating strikes at offices across Canada.
Paula Picard, the Prince Rupert CUPW president, said the purpose of the strike is not intended to inconvenience customers, but to put pressure on Canada Post to negotiate a fair settlement with the union, whom she said has not been taking the union’s demands seriously.
“I don’t want anybody’s granddaughter to not get their Christmas card or their birthday present or whatever the case may be,” said Picard. “So we’re out here and we’re working, but we’re also sending a message that we’re done.”
CUPW’s Canada-wide strike has spread to a dozen communities in British Columbia and north into Whitehorse. Some of the other northern B.C. communities that were affected by the strike are Kitimat, Terrace, Smithers, Revelstoke and Powell River.
Picard said the support the workers have received from the public has been “phenomenal”.
“They understand what we go through day in and day out and most people realize that this is a profitable company and it’s time to share the wealth,” she said.
In a statement released by Canada Post, they said they are still committed to the bargaining process, and hope to reach an agreement with the union soon.
“We value the relationship with the union and have been able to find common ground on some issues.”
The strike in Prince Rupert was only in place for 24 hours. When asked how long the job action would continue province-wide, Picard said the union wouldn’t back down until a settlement is negotiated.