British Columbia

Canada Post rotating strike hits Metro Vancouver

3,500 CUPW workers walked off the job at 9 a.m. PT in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

3,500 CUPW workers walked off the job at 9 a.m. PT in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, North and West Vancouver

CUPW members picket outside a downtown Vancouver Canada Post retail outlet. (Karin Larsen/CBC)

Vancouver and surrounding communities are the latest to be hit by rotating strike action by Canada Post workers.

Approximately 3,500 members of Vancouver Local 846 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers walked off the job at 9 a.m. PT.

According to Local 846 president Jennifer Savage, picket lines will be set up at 11 Canada Post retail outlets and depots in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, North Vancouver and West Vancouver. 

Strike action in other Canadian locations has typically lasted 24 to 36 hours, but Savage says it's not known how long the Vancouver local job action will last.

"We're out until our national office gives us direction otherwise," she said.

Service slowdown

Canada Post customers can expect mail delivery and other services to be delayed because of the strike.

"It will slow down [service] for the duration we're out," said Savage. "But as we've seen from other locations where we have been out for 24 to 36 hours, it's just slowing things down by a day, or a day-and-a-half."

CUPW pickets on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. (Catherine Rolfsen/CBC)

Contract negotiations between Canada Post and CUPW began in November 2017, with mediated talks starting in January. Workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike in late summer after talks stalled.

Key demands for the 50,000 CUPW members revolve around job security, ending forced overtime, health and safety improvements and equality for rural and suburban mail carriers.

Canada Post is the biggest parcel shipping company in the country, delivering about one million parcels a day during the holiday season in 2017, an increase of 20 per cent over the same period in 2016.

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