Kelowna postal workers catching up on backlog from 24-hour strike | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna postal workers catching up on backlog from 24-hour strike

Rural suburban mail carrier John Puglia loads parcels bound for North Glenmore in Kelowna as postal workers work through the mail backlog after their 24-hour strike that ended at 6 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.
October 25, 2018 - 10:56 AM

KELOWNA - The rotating strike by Canada Post employees in Kelowna is over and workers are scrambling to get through the backlog of parcels and letters.

“It will be an overtime day today,” Matthew Aitken, president of Local 760 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers told today, Oct. 25. “We have a lot to do today. We want to get people their mail.”

The 24-hour rotating strike started at 6 a.m. yesterday so ended at 5:59 a.m. today. It affected about 250 workers in Kelowna, including 180 postal carriers who are only allowed to work until 8 p.m. today to deliver mail.

Volumes have also been boosted this week because the provincial government is mailing out ballots for the proportional representation referendum.

Strike action has moved to Calgary, Red Deer and Sherbrooke today.

The union has been negotiating with Canada Post for 10 months. At issue, Aitken says, is boosting wages for rural delivery workers and “fixing routes that are way too long,” as well as a wage increase.

Regular carriers hired before 2013 are paid $26.50 per hour compared to $19.68 for more recent hires, he said.

They were not paid while off the job yesterday since strike pay doesn’t kick in until they’ve been off the job for five days. After that it’s $200 per week.

“We’re a humble union,” Aitkin said.

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