Canada Post customers in Drumheller got a rude surprize this morning when they went to the downtown post office to find it closed.

It's part of rotating job action by the Canadian Postal Workers Union (CUPW), which reached Calgary on Wednesday evening.

"We don't take any pleasure in interrupting services, but it's a necessary measure, I guess, to get Canada Post to start negotiating with us," claimed Todd Jarema, the Education and Organization Officer for CUPW in the Prairie Region. "We've been at the table for quite some time now and there hasn't been a lot of movement on some of our major issues."

"Health and safety is one of them, overburdening, precarious employments," he elaborated. "We're looking to get Canada Post to do a lot of service expansion as well, things like postal banking (and) expansion of broadband internet into rural and indigenous communities."

At the crux of the matter, explained Jarema, is that the union wants a say in what Canada Post plans to do to take advantage of changing business opportunities.

"We've seen major growth in our parcels business with online shopping, so (there are) more parcels to deliver," confirmed John Hamilton of Canada Post. "We've been making adjustments as we've gone, but what we're looking to do is sit down with the union and figure out how do we make the transition and put in place changes that improve things for our employees, but also make sure we can provide the services."

A federal mediator has been appointed to oversee the CUPW contract negotiations. The rotating strike is expected  to lift for Calgary on Friday, October 26.

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