The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) kicked off it’s country-wide rotating strike on Monday.

Each strike, which will last for 24 hours, will rotate across the country so that mail disruption is kept to a minimum. The first four cities affected by the strike, effective Monday, are Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor, and Halifax.

The union says, while mail will still be delivered to these cities, we can expect it to be delayed.

“Canada Post had the opportunity this weekend to stop any postal disruption on Monday, but instead, as they have for almost a year, they refused to talk about the issues that matter to our members,” says Mike Palecek, CUPW National President.

“Our goal has always been a negotiated settlement but we will not agree to anything that doesn’t address health and safety, gender equality and good, full-time middle-class jobs.”

The main points of interest for the CUPW are job security, ending forced overtime and overburdening, better health and safety measures, service expansions, and equality for rural & suburban mail carriers (RSMCs).

Over the past decade, the union alleges that working conditions have deteriorated and Canada Post has failed to address “the massive increase in parcel volumes and the burden it has placed on it’s members.” The CUPW also says that workplace injuries have increased by 43% in the past two years.

“Job action will continue until Canada Post gets serious about bargaining. They should and can do better. Our members deserve better,” says Palecek.

The union represents about 50,000 employees, 42,000 in urban areas and 8,000 in rural or suburban areas.

Mail delivery will continue as normal everywhere else in the country, and the CUPW promises that pension and social assistance cheques will be delivered as usual.

The union said they were considering a strike in September, and issued a strike notice last week.

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