Around 400 Canada Post employees could continue to take turns holding down the picket line on Saskatchewan Drive until the weekend, according to the union representing Regina postal workers.
William Johnson, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ Regina local, said they’re striking to end health and safety concerns, such as heavy parcel loads and the unpaid overtime to deliver them.
“We really like doing the job that we do, but we just want to make sure that we’re doing it safely and that the corporation recognizes that,” he explained. “We just don’t feel that they’re taking those issues that we have seriously enough.”
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Standing on the picket line with a “CUPW on strike” sign draped over him, suburban mail carrier Parminderjit Gill agreed, saying his biggest concern is working well over his seven-hour shift.
“Sometimes our employer is saying ‘you have to finish — no matter how long it’s going to take,'” Gill said, adding most days he works between a 10- to 12-hour day. “They’re treating us like second class citizens.”
In response to these situations, the union called a national overtime ban starting Thursday at midnight.
The rotating postal strikes hit Saskatoon, Weyburn, Lloydminster and Moose Jaw earlier this week.
According to Canada Post, 10 days of job action across the country have caused days-long mail backlogs as 150 trucks full of parcels and packages are sitting untouched in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Though Regina’s mail will be slightly delayed, Johnson assured residents should start receiving it again on Monday.
“We’re hoping that Canada Post gets the message, and actually starts to negotiate and bargain — instead of just sitting at the table, letting things go on and on.”
After 10 months of negotiations, the union and the postal service haven’t been able to reach any new collective agreements.