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Postal workers’ union begins rotating strikes

CUPW workers and their supporters picket in front of the the Almon Street postal depot and sorting plant in Halifax just before dawn Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. The picket line was set up at 1:01 a.m. Halifax is one of four cities that became the first sites of the union's rotating strikes in support of their contract demands.
CUPW workers and their supporters picket in front of the postal depot and sorting plant in Halifax just before dawn Monday. Halifax is one of four cities that became the first sites of the union's rotating strikes in support of their contract demands. - Tim Krochak

Rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) were held Monday in Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor and Halifax.

Whether rotating strikes will continue today in Canadian cities — and if so, which cities will be involved — won’t be known until any negotiations wrapped up on Monday.

Canada Post stated that in areas subject to rotating strikes, mail and parcels will not be delivered or picked up, however, operations will carry on as normal elsewhere in the country.

The provincial government has stated that should a disruption of postal service occur in Newfoundland and Labrador, payments normally issued via direct deposit will not be affected.

“If you receive benefit payments via cheque from the provincial government, please contact the applicable government department or agency to find out how you can continue to receive these payments without disruption,” a news release states. “Contact information for all departments and agencies can be found via the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador website.

“In addition, information regarding cheque delivery for income support payments can be found at www.aesl.gov.nl.ca/cp_cheque_pickup.html. Individuals in receipt of Employment and Training Programs payments via cheque can call 1-800-563-6600.”

Eastern Health has also put measures in place to ensure the delivery of mail to its clients, physicians, employees and vendors in the event of a mail disruption.

“During a postal disruption, Eastern Health will make every effort to deliver time-sensitive correspondence as quickly as possible and to work to minimize any interruption in service during a rotating strike,” a news release on Monday stated.

“A number of measures have been put in place to help address anticipated delays.”

Eastern Health says clients who experience a delay of their cheque can call 1-833-752-4637 to inquire about the status of their cheque; clients can also receive funds through an electronic funds transfer directly to their bank account; Patients throughout the province who normally receive prescription medications from Eastern Health through postal delivery will, in the event of a postal strike, receive their prescriptions via courier; Patient reports will be delivered to referring physicians, as per the usual process, with additional drop-offs, as needed; Appointment notices will continue to be delivered through Canada Post. Some program areas will advise by telephone of appointments scheduled within a short timeframe; Vendors who wish to set up an electronic fund or those with questions should call their regular contact in the Accounts Payable Division; Eastern Health employees who typically receive their pay cheques via postal delivery will be able to pick up their pay cheques at their work location.

Eastern Health has established a call centre at its Mount Pearl Square location which can be reached by calling toll-free 1-833-752-4637.

Some of the outstanding issues put forward by CUPW are: forced overtime and overburdening; job security; better health and safety measures; and service expansion.

Canada Post, on its website, states that it has made significant offers to CUPW that addresses many of the concerns.

“We remain committed to arriving at a negotiated settlement with CUPW, while making every effort to minimize the impact of any disruption on the customers we serve,” Canada Post said.

glen.whiffen@thetelegram.com

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