June 2, 2011 / 9:55 PM / in 6 years

Postal workers prepare for rotating strike

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Postal workers will start limited rotating strikes around the country on Thursday night unless a last-minute contract deal can be reached with Canada Post, the employees’ union said on Thursday.

“The strike will begin at 11:59 p.m. EDT in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg local will be on strike for 24 hours, after which the strike will continue in other locations to be announced later,” the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said in a statement.

“The purpose of this strike activity is to encourage Canada Post Corporation to abandon their proposals for significant concessions and instead negotiate solutions to the very real problems that are being experienced by 48,000 postal workers,” the union said.

Canada Post says its letter mail volume has declined by 17 percent in the last five years as e-mail has increased. The government corporation says it cannot afford the union’s wage demands and says it needs to introduce new rules to reduce sick leave.

Its last annual report, for 2009, showed a profit for the 15th consecutive year, but said its financial future was weak.

Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson

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