Toronto

Canada Post rotating strike hits Scarborough distribution centre

Canada Post employees in Scarborough walked off the job Sunday afternoon as part of rotating strikes that have affected much of the country.

1,800 members will head to the picket lines Monday morning, union says

Canada Post employees in Scarborough walked off the job Sunday afternoon as part of rotating strikes that have affected much of the country.

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) working at the York Distribution Centre joined picket lines at 3 p.m. in the third week of the nationwide strikes.

The Scarborough branch of the union says that by Monday morning, 1,800 members will be on strike, leaving most of the eastern Greater Toronto Area without mail.

Members of the Scarborough Local branch of CUPW serving Pickering will not be on strike, as they walked off the job last week.

Parcel delivery for Toronto downtown north to Newmarket and east to Port Hope will be affected by the latest strike action.  

"Normal operations would return shortly, our dispute is not with the Public, our dispute is with our employer," Scarborough Local president Mike Duquette said Sunday in a news release.

The union and the postal service have been unable to reach new collective agreements for two bargaining units after 10 months of negotiations.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says that by Monday morning 1,800 members will be on strike. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

Canada Post says it has provided "significant" offers to its employees, including wage hikes, but CUPW says it falls far below expected cost-of-living increases.

CUPW national president Mike Palecek said in a news release that the union is entering a third week of rotating strikes because "management stills 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 union has also called for a national overtime ban, which means postal workers can refuse to work beyond their normal eight-hour days.

"Overburdening, overtime and overwork are all major issues in this round of bargaining. Until Canada Post negotiators' address it, we can solve it for ourselves in the meantime," Palecek added.

Last Tuesday, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu appointed Morton Mitchnick, a former chairman of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, to help the two parties resolve their differences.

With files from The Canadian Press