Canada Post workers grudgingly back to work in Victoria

Small businesses ‘not hurt,’ by postal strike, mail ‘not piling up,’ says union

Canada Post’s distribution centre on Glanford Avenue was busy on Tuesday morning as the postal workers rotating strikes came to an end.

David Hibbert, a Victoria postal worker of 12 years, laments the Liberal government’s reaction to force the unionized members back to work, calling it a masterfully played game by Canada Post administration.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers obliged, asking all workers to return to regular duty as of noon. The last time this happened was 2011 and before that, 1997.

“This whole situation was engineered by the corporation,” Hibbert said. “We’ve been out of a contract for a year, and they could have negotiated ahead of that. There wasn’t an offer until we started the rotating strike, this is engineered to get us forced back to work, it’s a plotted-out plan to get the public against us, they need to show it’s a crisis situation to legislate us back to work. It’s all part of a master plan.”

Read More: ‘We will fight in court if back to work legislation passes,’ postal union warns

That “plan” uses the hectic holiday season, and the modern day spike in parcel deliveries from online purchases, that comes with it, Hibbert said.

“We used to have mail service couriers handling the parcels, about 80 a day, now we have letter carriers doing more than 100 parcels a day plus their route,” Hibbert said. “It’s twice the work than what we used to do, all pushed into one.”

On top of that, parcels are getting heavier, and working beyond an eight-hour day has become commonplace, Hibbert added.

Jessica Dempster, president of the CUPW local 850, said the union is extremely disappointed.

“We wanted to negotiate a collective agreement, and to do it by using our charter rights to bargain,” Dempster said. “Disappointment might even be an understatement. We want to negotiate directly, not with an arbitrator that doesn’t know the business.”

Dempster said the union expected a different approach from the Liberal government, one which cancelled the Conservative government’s conversion of door-to-door service in 2015.

“We were happy that they saved the end of door-to-door delivery, but we weren’t happy they didn’t turn around and restore the regions that had been converted [such as Sidney], which they said they would do,” she said.

In the meantime, there is little evidence that the local post offices are behind.

“I heard someone in the senate saying there’s trailers just sitting there, but any trailers we have sitting there are from Nov. 22,” Dempster said. “I’m not seeing piles of overdue mail.”

“We striked to put Canada Post on its toes. We’re not hurting small businesses.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria traffic stop yields drugs, case full of weapons

Police seize firearms, swords and flares

Suspect taken into custody after allegedly attempting to steal a dinghy in Sidney

The incident happened Wednesday morning near Beacon Wharf

Victoria Police arrest man wanted for fraud offences

Michael Friesen arrested on Johnson Street

Sooke council delays vote on Whiffin Spit memorial wall

Sooke district council has again delayed a decision to erect a memorial… Continue reading

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

West Coast Trail to remain closed for now

Federal government won’t open world-famous trek until its First Nations are ready for visitors

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Most Read