CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Canada Post employees have been ordered back to work today after the Senate passed legislation putting an end to the five-week rotating strikes by postal employees.
While postal workers will be back on the job this afternoon, two of them were gathered in front of the Charlottetown post office in protest of the government’s decision.
Eric Gauthier, who has been with the company for 25 years, showed up at the Kent Street location at 8:15 a.m. and was soon joined by one other employee.
Gauthier said he was part of a public protest because Canada Post was not negotiating with the union.
“But they don’t have to because the government ordered (us) back to work,” he told The Guardian Tuesday morning. “We’re doing it in protest of what the government is doing to us.”
He said he was displeased with the Senate’s decision.
“It’s unfortunate because it’s eroding the rights of people to have fair collective agreements.”
Gauthier said one of the issues that caused the initial strikes was health and safety.
“My hip’s sore, my arm’s sore from doing parcels. (It’s) repetitive work,” he said. “Canada Post, they seem to want to do more and more with less and less people.”
The long-time employee said five years ago there were 35 carrier routes in Charlottetown, which is now down to 19, and said the volume of parcels they are required to carry has gone up.
“So, take it from there, do the math. Somebody’s got to pull up the slack and it’s those 19 people that are pulling up the slack.”
While The Guardian was speaking to Gauthier, five or six customers went up to the Canada Post doors, tried the locked doors, shook their heads and walked away.
Gauthier said he understand that the general public is “cranky”.
“Because everybody wants everything right now, instead of two days from now,” he said, adding there isn’t a big delay as a result of the rotating strikes. “There’s no big hold up.”
Employees will be back to work today at 1 p.m. Atlantic.