Postal workers are pacing back and forth in front of Quesnel’s Canada Post office on Reid Street as they and their sister office in Hixon are on strike today (Nov. 22).
President of the Local 816 CUPW chapter Derek Bergeron says he thinks the strike will last for 24 hours, but can’t be certain, as union members in their Kamloops chapter have been on strike for 36.
He is picketing in Hixon today in solidarity with the one Canada Post employee on strike there.
Bergeron is upset with the news out of Ottawa today.
Labour Minister Patty Hadju tabled a bill to force Canada Post employees back to work in the House of Commons this morning.
“It’s really kind of disappointing that they would do that and not have Canada Post negotiate an agreement with us,” he says, “Which is what our goal is: a negotiated agreement. Rather than being sent back to work [there should be] pressure from the government to force Canada Post to negotiate.”
He also commented on holiday deliveries.
“Hopefully we’re working under a good agreement by the time Christmas comes,” Bergeron says. “But I don’t think there should be problems. Canada Post says it’s backlogged, but I’ve heard from members in some stations across the country who have said the numbers aren’t as bad as Canada Post wants them to be believed.”
Deliveries in Quesnel and Hixon will not be made until the offices return to work.