Canada Post losing millions due to strike
OTTAWA—Canada Post says it is losing tens of millions of dollars in business because of rotating strikes by its workers—and some of that may never return.
Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said the Crown corporation has lost $65 million in direct revenue, including $35 million in cancelled contracts, since rotating strikes began June 2.
“There are spin-off losses, there are customers cancelling contracts, there are customers moving away, and there are Canadians not putting mail on the general mail stream,” Hamilton added.
Hamilton said the strike merely is serving to speed the decline of the business, warning that some of their major customers may never return.
The firm’s warning followed a news conference in Ottawa this morning in which union president Denis Lemelin accused Canada Post of trying to provoke a general strike.
Lemelin said Canada Post’s decision to only deliver mail three days a week was tantamount to a “partial lockout” designed to provoke a general strike and force Ottawa to order the workers back.
And he disputed Hamilton’s contention that the rotating strikes are a major disruption, saying there is still plenty of mail in the system.
The work stoppages only are affecting 30 percent of the country on any given day, he noted.
“The government has to send them a clear message to sit and negotiate and maybe it will be a different ball game,” Lemelin said.
“About a general strike, we will evaluate the situation.”
The two sides were scheduled to return to the bargain table again today, but so far the talks have yielded little progress.
The company rejected the union’s latest offer to operate under the previous contract.
Meanwhile, Canada Post has announced mail delivery in most cities will be limited to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and a final call will be made today on whether all cities will be affected, based on mail volumes.
Postal workers in Red Deer, Alta. spent the weekend on strike and employees in 10 cities across the country walked off the job next.