CUPW members picket the main Revelstoke Post Office just after 10 a.m. on Wednesday

Postal lockout comes to Revelstoke

In Revelstoke, the main post office on Third Street East was quiet this morning. There were no pickets on scene as of 9 a.m., but union reps promised they would be there soon. As of just after 10 a.m., the picketers arrived.

Note: This story is being updated in blog format, or reverse chronological order.

June 15, 2:02 p.m. The Times Review‘s call to a Salmon Arm-based Canada Post supervisor was returned by Toronto-based Canada Post spokesperson Eugene Knapik.

Knapik said some delivery services to rural routes would continue today because they are based on a separate bargaining agreement. He didn’t have details on what that meant for Revelstoke.

“Beyond that there are no other scheduled services,” Knapik said.

He confirmed June 20 as the date for the delivery of ‘socio-economic’ cheques, which will be done at the main post office under and agreement between the Canada Post and CUPW. Details on that distribution is available at www.canadapost.ca/cheques. Details on that distribution are also at the bottom of this update.

Knapik said the lockout was called after 12 days of rotating strikes that cost Canada Post nearly $100 million and created uncertainty for its customers and was also causing cancelled contracts and lost business.

“We’re very anxious to settle this and to negotiate a collective agreement that’s going to provide some certainty going into the future, to try to keep Canada Post prosperous and keep excellent service to our customers,” Knapik said.

Here are details on how to get cheques including: Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Veterans Affairs Pension Plan and Canada Child Tax Benefit:

Socio-Economic Cheques will be delivered on Monday, June 20

Despite the ongoing labour disruption, Canada Post, under a special agreement with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), will deliver socio-economic cheques on Monday, June 20 only on behalf of the following participating federal and provincial agencies and programs:

National (Receiver General of Canada):

  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Old Age Security
  • Veterans Affairs Pension Plan
  • Canada Child Tax Benefit

Quebec:

  • Quebec Pension Plan
  • Child Assistance
  • Income Security

Alberta:

  • Pension Cheques (from Alberta Seniors)

If you normally receive your mail at your residence or at a community mailbox and are eligible to receive a socio-economic cheque, it will be delivered on June 20.

If you receive your regular mail delivery via postal box or general delivery and are eligible to receive a socio-economic cheque from one or more of these participating agencies or programs, your post office will be open on June 20 to allow you to retrieve your cheque.

For more information, please contact the appropriate participating government agency or program.

June 15, 10:40 a.m. Pickets are now in place at the main post office in Revelstoke.

Around 10 picketers circled the building on Wednesday morning, chatting amicably with members of the public who came by to pick up their mail. Hand-written ‘locked out’ signs covered the pre-printed ‘on strike’ signs on their sandwich boards.

The doors to the post boxes area of the post office remained unlocked and several people were seen crossing the picket line to pick up their mail, while at least one man chatted with the picketers and said he wouldn’t be going in to pick up his mail.

Local CUPW shop steward Linda Jarche said the picketers weren’t making an issue of people coming to pick up their mail, noting no new mail would be moving in the coming days.

June 15, 9:55 a.m. Lower Mainland-based Ed Nicholles is a Pacific region union representative for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

In a June 15 interview, he told the Times Review that picketers with ‘locked out’ signs would be on scene at the Revelstoke Post Office shortly.

Nicholles said workers were on the job until late this morning because management had failed to officially send out notice to Revelstoke that workers were locked out.

He said mail should dry up soon, but those on a rural route will receive mail for another day or two because that service is conducted on a separate union agreement.

The post office is scheduled to get ‘socio-economic’ cheques out by mail on Monday. This includes pension, child tax credit and other similar ones. They will be distributed at the office on Monday by volunteers under an agreement between Canada Post and CUPW.

“The big thing is that we want Canada Post to sit down with us and get the concessions off the table and start talking with us seriously,” Nicholles said. “It’s just been, ‘No, no, no, no, no.'”

Nicholles said the top four issues from the union’s perspective were:

-pension issues

-a two-tiered wage system for new hires

-health and safety of union members under the modern post system

-removal of sick leave benefits and replacing them with a “very inferior” short term disability program

The Times Review has left a message with the local management representative but hasn’t yet heard back.

June 15, 9:25 a.m. Canada Post locked out its 48,000 union staff as midnight on June 14.

In Revelstoke, the main post office on Third Street West was quiet this morning. There were no pickets on scene as of 9 a.m.

The doors to the post boxes area were open, but the office area was closed.

The Times Review left messages this morning with both local management and union contacts, but has not yet heard back from either.

We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.