SURREY — After news that the union representing most workers at Canada Post has given 72-hour notice to strike, the Surrey Board of Trade says it’s “monitoring the situation closely.”
“We have notified our members that we will continue our communications with them electronically,” said SBOT CEO Anita Huberman. “Invoices, event registrations – all will be handled through email or phone.”
However, she added, “We are concerned for quite a few of our members who rely on the postal service for their daily operations.
“From invoicing to small import/exporters, we have members who have packages arriving daily or send daily – whether it is machine parts or specialized medical equipment, their operations will be impacted if job action does take place on Monday the 29th.”
She noted disruptions could be a minimal as work-to-rule, to rotating day strikes, to a full walk-out.
But the appointment of Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk as a mediator to help minimize work disruptions is hopeful, Huberman added.
“We hope for the best,” said Huberman. “Too many of Surrey’s businesses would be hurt otherwise.”
Parcel delivery for small to medium sized businesses in Surrey is a critical part of their daily operation, stressed Huberman.
“We have no intention to take sides but we do ask that some sort of resolution can be found expediently before any action impedes our members ability to do business,” said Huberman.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the notice spells out what actions it is planning, but stops short of a full-blown walkout.
CUPW national president Mike Palecek says Canada Post forced the labour disruption by refusing to accept a request from the federal labour minister to continue negotiations with the help of a special mediator.
But a spokesman for the agency says that’s not the case.
The two sides have been in negotiations for more than nine months but are far apart on key issues including pay equity for rural carriers and proposed changes to the Canada Post pension plan.
-With files from Canadian Press