For Immediate Release
Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) that deliver parcels and shuttle mail in Cape Breton Regional Municipality started a legal strike at one this morning. The work stoppage comes after their employer NOR-PEL, a contractor for Canada Post, refused to meet with the Union to bargain a first contract. The workers are making just above minimum wage, with no pension or other benefits.
These workers are an integral part of Canada Post’s delivery network. There will be huge impact on delivery in Cape Breton today and a ripple effect on the delivery network as the strike continues. Customers of Canada Post should expect that no parcels will be delivered in Sydney, North Sydney, New Waterford or Glace Bay. Mail delivery will also be heavily impacted.
Canada Post utilizes contractors like NOR-PEL to keep wages artificially low. Contracts with Canada Post are bid on every three to five years, and are awarded to the lowest bidder. Contracts change hands often, but the incoming contractor hires the experienced drivers of the previous contractor to save on training costs. Because the new contactor has to bid lower than the previous contractor to get the tender, the new employer drops the wages of employees back to the bottom of the barrel. The drop can be as much as $6/hour for workers who have been delivering parcels and mail for Canada Post for more than 20 years.
This strike happens as two larger bargaining units at Canada Post begin strike votes.
For more information, please contact Local President Gordon MacDonald at 902-578- 3554.