Locked out postal workers rallied across the country Friday in opposition to the back-to-work legislation currently before Parliament.
In Penticton, the posties marched from the main post office on Industrial Avenue to the downtown offices of Okanagan Coquihalla MP Dan Albas to rally on the steps of the Nanaimo Square building containing his office.
“We would be out there right now delivering mail if Canada Post had not locked those doors. All we want is a fair contract for ourselves and those coming after us,” said Barb Perry, president of the local Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “It took many years of struggle with the corporation to achieve what we have now. And why should we have to give it away?”
Incongruously, Perry advised the small crowd to send emails or notes to members of Parliament.
“Let the government know that you would like to see us back at work with a fair negotiated settlement, not one shoved down our throats that is designed by the government to take more away than what we were originally promised by our own company,” she said.
Perry emphasized that what is happening now is not a strike, but a lock out of postal workers by Canada Post.
“We agreed to go back to work when the minister of labour asked us to,” she said. All they wanted, she said, was to have the old contract back while a new one was being negotiated.
“It’s not us. We would be out there delivering mail today, so unlock those doors and let us go back to work,” said Perry.