06/04/2011 09:22 EDT | Updated 08/04/2011 05:12 EDT

Canada Post Strike: Hamilton Workers Act, Union Stands Firm

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- HAMILTON - Canada Post workers in Hamilton, Ont., have begun a 48 hour strike that will continue until late Sunday night.

It's the second in a series of rotating strikes that began Thursday night with a 24 hour walkout in Winnipeg.

Denis Lemelin, chief negotiator for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said Friday the rotating work stoppages would continue until a good collective agreement was reached.

Canada Post’s latest offer, which has been rejected, would raise the starting wage to 19 dollars an hour, and at least temporarily shelve a controversial disability program.

The impact on consumers and business has so far been negligible, but the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says a steady stream of strikes will become problematic.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada says consumers may not receive regular statements for credit cards, loans, mortgages, utility bills and other invoices.

The agency adds that Canadians can avoid late payment fees or interest charges by using telephone or online banking services or checking a company’s website for other payment methods.

Charities that get donations by cheque say they expect to be hurt by the job action, and consumers who buy products online are being advised to check to see how items will be shipped.

The last Canada Post strike, in 1997, was ended with back to work legislation.

However on Friday, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt urged the parties to keep trying to work things out themselves.

See also: Why We Still Love (And Need) Snail Mail