The holiday season hasn’t started off very merry for many, as rallies took over much of the country for the first weekend of December. Union members decided to voice the violations on behalf of Canada Post employee’s rights this weekend.As many of you already know, Canada Post employees were recently ordered back to work on Monday via the Canadian Government after their ongoing strike. Not only are Christmas packages being significantly delayed due to these strikes, but rallies and blockades were spotted in numerous cities across Canada this weekend.
In over 30 cities across Canada, postal workers and supporters gathered together to rally for their rights in what they called their “National Day of Action”. Workers and supporters gathered together, first online, then in person, to help plan and organize a variety of rallies that were to take place over the weekend.
After being here for 11 hours and successfully disrupting a day at the busiest Canada Post distribution centre in Canada, we are leaving on our own terms.— CUPE Ontario (@CUPEOntario) December 1, 2018
Thank you to @cupw for being strong, and thanks to our members and allies for your support. ✊🏽#canlab #onlab #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/YC8QJPMEFB
The main goal of these rallies, according to Gord Fisher, the national director of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is to, “Give a message all the way to Ottawa- negotiate don’t legislate,”.
One of the largest gatherings that occurred this weekend was in Vancouver, where dozens of protesters gathered outside the office of the federal Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould.
No mail moving in Vancouver @PattyHajdu and @JustinTrudeau you can not legislate labour peace, 3 million workers to the rescue of #CUPW @cupw @Tony_Tracy @tonimaca @jcallaghan2 @CanadianLabour @OFLabour @canadapostcorp @CBC #canpoli #postalstrike pic.twitter.com/bfQNdSVWH1— Don Foreman (@EndBlockadeCuba) November 28, 2018
CUPW Vancouver President Jennifer Savage is overwhelmed by the amount of support from non-postal workers that showed up around the country on Saturday, “The amount of support that we’ve received since the legislation came into effect is absolutely overwhelming,”.
In Edmonton, workers braved the snow and took to the streets to protest their rights. Holding flags and posters that read “negotiate not legislate” and “fight for the right to strike” they gathered at Steel Park to voice their opinions.
Co-organizer of the Edmonton rally, Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl, spoke out to Global News about the issue, stating, “It’s an attack on all our rights. They’re not alone; they have lots of allies”.
Trade unionists picketing Canada Post plant in Mississauga. The mail is shut down. "Negotiate, don't legislate" "Nobody in, nobody out" #canlab #CanadaPostStrike #CUPW #cdnpoli #topoli pic.twitter.com/gZpmEzT2vh— RankandFile.ca (@rankandfileca) December 1, 2018
Blockades were also placed around a variety of cities, including Mississauga, where three entrances to a sorting facility were blocked. Protesters blocked these entrances while waving flags and burning piles of wood on the streets.
We've experienced illegal picketing at several facilities by persons who are not employees. The Ontario Superior Court issued an injunction to prevent the blockade of any facilities in Ont., which protesters are violating. We will take all appropriate action to address this. pic.twitter.com/nsP32MtsGu— Canada Post (@canadapostcorp) December 1, 2018
Canada Post made a statement regarding the illegal rallies via their Twitter yesterday. "We've experienced illegal picketing at several facilities by persons who are not employees. The Ontario Superior Court issued an injunction to prevent the blockage of any facilities in Ont., which protesters are violating. We will take all appropriate action to address this."
They later released another tweet addressing the rallies in Mississauga. "Illegal picketing activity at our Gateway mail processing plant in Mississauga has ended. Mail and parcels are moving without obstruction."
Many protesters were served with an injunction which is prohibiting anyone from obstructing the entrances to these facilities. Yet, protests and rallies are still expected to continue.