WL mail disruption still possible

Postal service in Williams Lake will continue for now.

Postal service in Williams Lake will continue for now.

While outlets in Winnipeg, Hamilton and Montreal have been impacted by rotating job action where workers walked off the job temporarily, it remains to be seen which office will be activated next, when the strike might escalate or if Williams Lake will be asked by the national office to participate in a wider strike mandate.

“We will be eager to participate when we have the opportunity to do so,” said Ivan Bonnell, president of CUPW Local 854.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the employer continue to negotiate. According to Bonnell, some of the contentious issues for the union are wage reductions for new hires,  a pension change from defined benefit to defined contribution, an increase in health and dental insurance premiums, and the removal of job security that occurs as a result of technological change.

“We will not accept a reduction in job safety and employment security; not a reduction in benefits and pensions, we’re not prepared to accept,” he said. Bonnell anticipates that if the national office asks Williams Lake to participate in the rotating strike or strike escalation the office may be given between two and four hours notice.

There are 40 local Canada Post staff who are impacted by the contract negotiations; 15 staff members of the office’s rural branch are not impacted as they are covered under a different collective agreement that remains valid. Those staff cover areas such as Chimney Lake, Wildwood, Deep Creek, Soda Creek, Sugar Cane, Fox Mountain among others.