Couriers deliver desired service
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Although a strike by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has once again been averted, demand for alternative courier service increases daily which has some companies happy to pick up the slack while others could care less.
In a press release sent out late last night, CUPW leader Darrell Tingley said the union will exercise their right not to strike today and will continue evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis.
Exploratory talks went on into yesterday evening between Canada Post and CUPW, yet detailed information is unavailable. Both parties have agreed to a news blackout while negotiations take place, said Canada Post spokesperson Ida Irwin.
Demands by the union include an over eight per cent wage increase, the conversion of 1,500 part-time workers to full-time and absolute job security for all employees. In the last published proposal, Canada Post offered to convert 500 jobs to full-time status and a three per cent wage increase.
Before it was announced there would be no strike, Canada Post maintained they would not have a lock-out and continue to pay workers, Irwin said. "We will try to maintain services for as long as we can."
Randy Padley, operations manager for Ontario Greyhound Courier Express, said they have seen some increases in demand as a result of the strike and are prepared to take on whatever comes their way.
The courier service, which has seen strikes in the past, has handled the increase with little trouble, Padley said. Greyhound is prepared to deal with the demand as it materializes and can do so because they are used to carrying a large volume, he added.
However, Purolator Courier sees the situation much differently. In order to protect service, the decision was made to restrict the influx of new business, said senior vice-president Maurice Levy. "If you are not one of our core customers, we will not be accepting your business."
Padley said the decision by Purolator to restrict services is not unusual because their largest shareholder is Canada Post. "It only stands to reason they won't take Canada Post customers."