NEWS
06/07/2011 02:20 EDT | Updated 08/07/2011 05:12 EDT

Canada Post, Union Talks Stop As Rotating Strikes Continue

CBC Canada Post and its union have stepped away from the bargaining table and there's no immediate word on when they'll start talking again, as rotating strikes continue to hit selected communities.

About 1,000 postal workers are off the job in Moncton, N.B., and Victoria, the latest cities to be hit by the 24-hour strikes, now in their fifth day.

The strike is affecting local businesses.

In his basement shop in Riverview, N.B., surrounded by brightly-coloured feathers, furs and threads, veteran fly tier Bryant Freeman told CBC News that about 50 per cent of his business I done through Canada Post. He ships supplies in and out and mails flies to France and Russia.

"This time of year the fishermen are going out and they have a hole in their waders, I can order a pair, if I don't have their size, and have them here within four days. I can't get that now. I have to have it shipped through another company which is usually twice as much cost as Canada Post," Freeman said.

Canada Post rejected the latest offer from CUPW on Monday and the union said there are no scheduled bargaining talks today. It has not announced where its next strike will take place.

The union told its members Monday that Canada Post had made some positive moves but also took several steps backwards.

The Crown corporation rejected the latest proposal from union negotiators, but backed away from its own thorny proposal to create more part-time positions to deal with a decline in mail volumes.

Canada Post said CUPW's latest proposal didn't offer solutions to problems such as declining mail volumes, increasing competition and electronic substitutes for traditional mail.