New Glasgow residents didn’t need to check their mail on Tuesday as letter carriers were locked out of work. Kevin Peterson, president of Local 087 with the Canadian Postal Workers Union, said he’s been told the lockouts will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with regular delivery on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The lockout affected the dozen postal workers who do door to door delivery in New Glasgow, Lourdes and to businesses. wholesale jerseys Clerks, mail sorters, rural delivery people and package delivery belong to a different bargaining unit and were not affected.
“It’s not because we don’t want to deliver it, it’s because they’ve locked us out,” Peterson said. “If you look around, there’s all kinds of mail in there, not the 50 per cent drop they want us to believe.”
Workers say this will just increase the amount of mail they’ll have to deliver on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each postal carrier typically delivers an average of 800 letters a day to 500 customers, in addition to flyers, magazines and ad mail.
“We’ll have double the volume (on Wednesday),” said letter carrier Holly Langille as she walked picket lines outside of the New Glasgow post office Tuesday, where the county’s mail is sorted. “People want to get their stuff through.”
The letter carriers don’t believe Canada Post claims that Canadians are finding alternative ways to send messages instead of letter mail.
“We had a heavy volume (Monday), larger than a normal Monday,” said letter carrier Dan Bowers.
That indicates that people are still using the mail system, Peterson says. This time of the year is typically a high volume time, he said, with graduation announcements and cards going out, along with invitations to events like weddings.
“We haven’t seen a drop at all, if there is a 50 per cent reduction of use, it sure hasn’t reached the east coast so far,” added letter carrier Cathy Ferguson.
Workers won’t get paid for the days they don’t work, which Peterson says will have an impact on the community as well.
“It’s not only going to hurt our families, it will hurt the community as a whole,” he said. “We spend money in Pictou County, we buy cars and homes and groceries. Everyone is going to be affected, and that’s what people need to realize.”
Letter carriers have been on a rotating strike for more than a week now. Canada Post and CUPW are still at odds on a host of issues, including new mail processing technology the company wants to implement and wages for new hires.