Mail carriers protested at Canada Post headquarters in St. John’s Tuesday as idling mail trucks manned by relief carriers slowly left the lot.
“They’re not allowing our own workers into the building to do their own work,” said Mike McDonald, a senior relief letter carrier protesting with a megaphone in hand. “Relief letter carriers have been told they have to deliver mail and they’ve been threatened with termination.”
McDonald says the postal service moved 200,000 pieces of mail through their machine last night, and there’s enough mail for every letter carrier to be working in St. John’s. Instead, he says, by not allowing them to work, Canada Post is causing a division between relief letter carriers and permanent letter carriers.
“No other person should be in a position where a poor guy has to go home and tell his wife, who has cancer, ‘if I don’t do this work I’m going to be suspended indefinitely’. That’s not a way for Canada Post to make a profit, and that’s exactly what they’re trying to do — make profit off of our backs.”
There are 177 carriers in St. John’s, 115 of whom were locked out today. The corporation is cutting deliveries to three days a week during rotating strikes across the country. Carriers will be out in full force again tomorrow.
Since June 3, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has been organizing rotating strikes in several major cities, partially in response to new mail-processing technology the company wants to implement and wages for new hires.