Vernon CUPW Local 848 on rotating strike on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Rotating postal strike hits the Okanagan

Pickets went up in Vernon, Penticton and Summerland as part of the rotating postal service strike

Rolling postals strikes have hit the Okanagan, including Summerland, where workers were doing strike duty Thursday. Lucrezia Olivier/Summerland Review

Pickets went up at 7 a.m. Thursday at a number of post offices around the Okanagan as part of the rotating 24-hour strikes involving Canada Post employees.

Workers in six B.C. locals were behind picket lines on Thursday including: Vernon, Penticton, Summerland, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Quesnel and Cranbrook.

There will be no mail or parcel delivery in Vernon, Coldstream, Armstrong, Falkland and Lumby, though residents in the latter three communities can pick up mail at the outlets in their communities.

“This is our turn at the rotating strike,” said Valeta Heiden, president of Vernon Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Local 848, which serves about 80 members.

Heiden said citizens can still access Service Canada, which shares the post office facility in Vernon.

“We’re definitely not going to interfere with the customers. We won’t inconvenience them,” she said.

RELATED: Canada Post warns that rolling strikes leading to ‘escalating’ delays

Deb Attrill and Cam Preston, co-vice president’s of the Penticton CUPW Local, said the workers are fighting for pay equity, better working conditions and for Canada Post to stop over-burdening them. Preston said it is mainly the health and safety issues that they are concerned with.

“Forced overtime is a big issue. Our members can’t refuse overtime, the expectation is that you will finish your route,” said Attrill. “it doesn’t matter how long that takes, so if you have kids in daycare they can’t get home to pick up their kids. They are out there until after eight o’clock at night.”

RELATED: Rotating Canada Post strikes hit more B.C. cities

Workers anticipate being back on the job Friday at 7 a.m.

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