Unions protest at Canada Post facility in Halifax to support CUPW
Published Friday, November 30, 2018 3:48PM AST
Protestors blocked the entrances to the Canada Post distribution centre on Almon Street in Halifax on Friday morning.
Local unions came out to support the CUPW, which was legislated back to work.
The protesters were eventually dispersed by Halifax Regional Police, who told them they could not block the entrance ways or traffic.
“We want to take a stand because in this country under the Charter we have a right to free and fair collective bargaining and we’re going to stand up and do what we need to do as individuals and protect that right,” said Danny Cavanaugh, president of Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. “Governments need to understand that individual union members are angry about what’s happened and they’re going to take a stand and stand up for their collective rights.”
Postal workers said earlier this week, they would be holding demonstrations and non-violent civil disobedience.
Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union, also joined the protest.
“We’re just here as a group of concerned citizens to support them and to say that we support them in their struggle to have a safe place to work,” Hazelton said. “The postal workers have recently carried more packages and they’re worried about their health and safety.”
Soon after the protest began, Canada Post sent out this tweet.
We can confirm individuals are illegally obstructing the movement of mail and parcels at our plant at 6175 Almon St. in Halifax, NS. We’ll continue to take appropriate action to address illegal activity impacting the collection and delivery of mail and parcels.— Canada Post (@canadapostcorp) November 30, 2018
Halifax Regional Police Staff Sgt. Carolyn Nichols said police received a complaint about the protest.
“We had a report today that traffic was being blocked from entering the Canada Post plant on Almon Street and on Monaghan Drive as well,” Nichols said. “We attended just to make sure traffic’s moving, and nobody’s in any danger, and everybody’s safe, and everyone has a right to come and protest. The protesters spoke to my sergeant on duty and they agreed to move off the street so trucks could enter the facility.”
Nichols said the protesters were co-operative and moved out of the way so trucks could enter the facility.
“Nobody can block entrance of vehicles on a roadway,” Nichols said. “It’s a safety concern for everyone involved. This is a public street so it can’t be blocked and have vehicles backing up. That creates an unsafe situation for everyone involved.”
Postal worker Lisa Burke arrived for her shift at 8:30 a.m. but wasn’t able to get through the blockade.
“(I) tried to get into the retail office where I work and some of the other unions are picketing outside for us as postal workers, so they’re not allowing any mail to come in and out of the processing area,” Burke said.
“I think it’s good that we do have the support of other unions. What was done to us is going to affect other unions in the future, so I think it’s great that we do have the support of other unions and of the public.”