The first of 48,000 Canadian postal workers launched a series of rotating city-area strikes in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Friday while their union and Canada Post planned last-ditch meetings for later in the day.
A national strike by letter carriers and other postal workers is still some way off as Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are scheduled to meet in Ottawa on late new proposals from both sides.
USPS News from JOC:
USPS Says Cash Shortfall Would Hit Operations.
The CUPW, at a minute before midnight Thursday in Winnipeg, began the first of a threatened series of 24-hour strikes in urban areas in an attempt to force an end to seven months of contract disagreement over working conditions, benefits, and reduced wages and pension plans for new employees.
Striking workers are not publicizing the locations of the lightning strikes so that Canada Post will not know where the next one will hit, Lisa Peterson, vice-president of the Winnipeg local, said.
As Canada’s nationally-spread banks and other businesses readied contingency plans, exhorting customers to make payments and do other business by the Internet and courier, the union promises to bring in 9,000 workers as volunteers to get out social security and unemployment and other government payments to Canadians.
Canada Post and the CUPW were to meet in Ottawa Friday to discuss new employer proposals that pull back from a union-opposed plan that would limit accumulation of sick time but continue with introducing a two-tier work force that would pay new hires more than 20 percent less than existing workers. Canada Post recently increased its starting wage for new employees of C$18 an hour to C$19.
The latest union demand for wage increases in a four-year contract remains well above the Canada Post offer.
Canada Post says it is facing dwindling revenues in the Internet age and is also facing a $3 billion pension deficit.