Canada Post Work Stoppage Looms

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CBJ — Despite the increasing possibility of either a lockout or a strike, the federal government is not considering back-to-work legislation if there is a work stoppage at Canada Post.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government believes in good-faith negotiations that happen around the bargaining table. That’s fine, if you have two sides dealing in good faith.

Canada Post has thrown down the gauntlet, issuing a 72-hour lockout notice to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), raising the possibility of labour disruption by Friday.

Canada Post said its latest offer presented on June 25 was fair and reasonable and that it still hoped to negotiate a deal with the union.

But in a statement early Tuesday, Canada Post said it plans to suspend the collective agreement as of Friday. It blamed prolonged negotiations, the union’s strike mandate and the financial cost of a rapid decline in mail volume.

Canada Post said the 72-hour notice does not necessarily mean it will shut down on Friday. Rather, it said, the measure would allow it to “take measures that are necessary to respond to the changing business reality.”

The union maintains the sticking issue is pay equity for rural carriers, 70% of whom are women and earn 28% less than their urban, mostly male, counterparts.

The Crown corporation says CUPW’s demands are “not affordable” and would add $1 billion in costs over the life of a new contract. The union accused Canada Post of preparing to lock workers out, and creating uncertainty by warning the public to avoid the post office.

Canada Post has said that in the event of a full work disruption, it will not operate — mail and parcels will not be delivered, and no new items will be accepted.


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