The Canada Post rotary attacks are putting the mail service in London and the surrounding area on hold for the second day.
Karen Finlay-Russell, president of the London union of the Canadian Postal Workers Union (CUPW), told Global News Radio 980 CFPL that the "national decision" came on Monday night.
"When I made the announcement on the lines last night, around 9:30 AM, people were extremely excited and excited that we were leaving for another 24 hours," she said. The strike was initially expected to last only one day.
Work action affects neighboring areas including Dorchester, St. Mary, Aylmer and Lambeth. Finlay-Russell said they are expected to return to work at 10am on Tuesday.
Dozens of people attended a rally in the town hall on Monday afternoon when a work stoppage at the local post office interrupted the mail service in London.
Finlay-Russell said demonstrations such as Monday at 300 Dufferin Ave., which was later transferred to the Wellington Street mail depot, will help end the labor dispute.
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"I really think if we put enough pressure on it, that will happen," Finlay-Russell said. "I think there are some people in Ottawa with the CPC who are pushing for it, so we just need to help boost it and do it."
She said they are struggling to improve working conditions, which have deteriorated in recent years.
"I really had a fortune teller calling me and I cried when she spoke to me, quietly and frankly, because she said:" My kids think I'm a bad mother because I do not get home until they go to bed and I go out in the morning before they get up, "and it was the saddest story I've ever heard, and that's the reality of our cardholders here in London," said Finlay-Russell.
Local postal worker Pauline Peterson has agreed that work has been very stressful in recent years.
"Our routes are starting to get very long. They are becoming overwhelmed. Our order volume is on the roof, and we certainly have a health and safety issue going on at the Canada Post and we need them to fix it, "Peterson said.
London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen attended the rally to show her support for the workers.
"We need the post office. It is an important crown corporation. Not only do they deliver letters and parcels, but the Canada Post can become the 21st century postal bank, "Mathyssen said.
Several other local politicians also attended the rally, including the elected councilor in Ward 2 Shawn Lewis, councilor-elect in the 12th Ward Elizabeth Peloza, and the MPP of the NDP to the North London Center Terence Kernaghan.
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The union, which represents 50,000 postal workers, is demanding improvements in health and safety, gender equality and service expansions, including postal banking.
It is unclear exactly when the strike will end, but the union says its members left after midnight in London, GTA and St. Catharines, as well as six communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
CUPW members have been raiding since October 22 in an effort to pressure the Canada Post as the two sides try to negotiate new collective bargaining agreements for unionized urban and rural workers.
The Canadian newspaper said rotating strikes impacted operations in more than 70 communities across the country, causing delays that could delay delivery of mail to customers for several days.
The crown corporation said it made "meaningful offers" to the union, including "wage increases, job security and better benefits" without asking for concessions.
– With files from Canadian Press
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