Tuesday, November 23, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Wildcat strike by Canadian postal workers

Libcom.org Nov 22 2010

A number of Canada Post employees in Winnipeg walked off the job Monday to
protest a change in the mail sorting procedure.

Canada Post's website says the corporation is undergoing a "postal
transformation," with Winnipeg being the first location where new sorting
equipment and delivery methods are being rolled out before the changes are
implemented across the country.

The new, automated way results in postal carriers having to carry three
bags along their routes. Under the old sorting method, done by hand,
carriers eneded up with two bundles because the sorters were able to
combine flyers with mail destined for each house.

A man who was sorting the mail the old way on Monday at the Wilkes Avenue
facility was suspended, according to Bob Tyre, head of the Canadian Union
of Postal Workers' Winnipeg local.

That prompted 40 other employees at the facility to walk out in solidarity.

"They [Canada Post] suspended him on the spot. And the other carriers
decided that that was the line in the sand and they left, too," Tyre said.

About 60 carriers at the downtown sorting plant then left their jobs for
similar reasons, but only walked out for about a half-hour, said Tyre.

However, a postal worker on libcom commented: "As of now there are about
140 workers on strike by my count, this is not a temporary work stoppage
like the last wildcats in Edmonton, workers are packing their things and
going home to spend time with their families. Everyone across the country
is keeping in touch about this and watching Canada Post's next move

Bob Tyre also noted that seven carriers at the Transcona plant were also
threatened with suspension for sorting mail the old way. Tyre said the new
procedure is causing an increase in workplace injuries and is slowing down
the delivery of mail.

Carrying the three bags "makes walking treacherous [and is] hard on their
necks and their backs," he said, adding "there's been a skyrocketing
increase in injuries."

"And [the carriers] have tried to, and the union has as well, talk to
Canada Post about the delivery method, how it's causing injuries and it's
not safe and it slows the delivery down on the streets, so they're all
working overtime. They've been working that way now for about six weeks.

"And they've gotten nowhere with Canada Post so they just decided that
they can't work that way and they went home."

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