Canada Post rotating strikes hit Edmonton for third day

Canada Post rotating strikes hit Edmonton for third day

Canada Post workers in Edmonton remained on the picket line for a third day Monday after rejecting the Crown corporation's latest offer.

Carriers in Edmonton walked off the job 12:01 a.m. Friday. This is the third time workers in Edmonton have walked off the job.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers continues to stage rotating strikes across the country after the union let the deadline pass on a time-sensitive proposal from Canada Post.

Both sides say they are committed to reaching a resolution and continuing negotiations to reach a settlement for about 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural and suburban carriers, with CUPW now calling on the federal minister of labour to appoint a mediator.

Canada Post still hasn't adequately addressed "major issues," including pay equity and an "injury crisis," Mike Palecek, the union's national president, told CBC News on Sunday.

The corporation's four-year $650-million offer included annual two-per-cent wage hikes, plus signing bonuses of up to $1,000 per employee.

A spokeswoman for Labour Minister Patty Hajdu wouldn't say whether Ottawa would oblige the request for a mediator, but indicated it was a good sign that both sides remain committed to finding a solution.

CUPW has been negotiating collective agreements with Canada Post for almost a year. Since Oct. 22, rotating strikes have shut down Canada Post's operations in more than 200 communities.

The strikes have created a huge backlog of undelivered mail, prompting some businesses to issue pleas for a resolution ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to say Canadian businesses and families are relying on the postal service in the holiday season and urging both sides "to resolve their differences quickly and reach a deal."

Late last week, Canada Post asked 190 partner countries to suspend mail shipments to Canada because of a backlog of deliveries resulting from the labour dispute.

The union represents 50,000 employees across Canada, about 2,000 members in Edmonton.