Canada Post workers in the Cariboo and Southern Interior were on the picket lines Thursday morning in part of rotating strike action across the country.
President of CUPW Local 854 in Williams Lake, Jozie Maas says the 24-hour strike action started at 7 am in the Cariboo at Williams Lake, Lac La Hache, 70 Mile, Lone Butte, 100 Mile, and Quesnel. Workers are also on strike in Kamloops, Vernon, Cranbrook, and Penticton.
“What it means for customers of Williams Lake and the surrounding areas is that they won’t get any delivery today nor will they be able to get into any post office to mail or send parcels off,” Maas said.
“We don’t want to go on strike but we need agreements that are fair and that respect the workers.”
The offer from Canada Post according to Maas is simply not good enough.
“We’re looking to cancel the overtime hours that we’re being forced to work, sacrificing our health and time with our families. They have basically been forcing us to work 12 hour days delivering mail well into the evening and night and it’s really not a way to live,” she said.
“They’ve failed to adapt to the massive increase in parcel volumes over the last few years and that’s created a huge burden for all the workers. We want to be treated like humans, and not like machines.”
Maas adds that while they have gained some equity through their RSMCs (Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers) they want the equality that should go with that.
“When I say that it means that we want hours work for hours pay and job security just to name a few.”
Honks have already been shared by Cariboo passersby and BCGEU is just one of the many unions behind them.
“The support is there for sure,” Maas said.
“We’re postal workers that are out there to help our customers and we’re doing the best that we possibly can, but we’re being treated unfairly and it’s unacceptable and things need to change.”
(Editor’s note: this story incorrectly reported the job action as a 12-hour strike when it is, in fact, a 24-hour strike.)