Halifax area Canada Post employees ended up walking off the job early Monday, however sources say they should return Thursday morning.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has had rotating strikes in place since the end of October. The strikes only last 24 hours and then workers resume activity.

This last one was quite extended though, which may be an indicator of how the negotiations are going.

“Based on the fact that negotiations have not been going well with Canada Post, the national union felt we needed to put more pressure on Canada Post to negotiate,” said Mike Keefe, a Canada Post veteran and first vice-president of Nova Local, which represents a vast majority of it’s members.

Strikes in other areas, like Moncton, Toronto and Vancouver, have also had rotating strikes last a number of days.

Not sure when delivery service will be back

Canada Post is working hard to come to a resolution and has  made a new limited-time offer to employees to end the strikes as of Wednesday.

The Canadian Press reported the Crown corporation’s four-year offer includes an annual two per cent wage hike, plus a signing bonus of up to $1,000 per employee. Unionized workers have until Saturday to accept the deal.

“The strike action is still rotating strikes so it is possible we could be back on the job [Thursday], but we wanted to let everybody know that until further notice there would no mail processed and no mail delivered in HRM,” Keefe said.

Canada Post pushed to negotiate

Keefe, who has worked for Canada Post for over 30 years, said the union wants supporters of postal workers to contact the prime minister and their member of Parliament to pressure the Crown corporation to negotiate.

“The union feels that the only action for the government left to take is to introduce back-to-work legislation and that sort of rewards Canada Post for not bargaining seriously for the last 12 months,” said Keefe.

The major issue for unionized workers, Keefe said, has to do with health, safety, and wage and benefit equality.

Local Halifax support high

Keefe said workers in Halifax have been getting a lot of support from the public, with people honking their horns and bringing food and coffee.

“It used to be when you’d go on the picket line and somebody blew the horn, usually they were giving you the one-fingered salute while they were doing it,” Keefe said.

“And this time it’s much more thumbs up, it’s much more positive. And that’s why morale is pretty good on the picket line.”


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