CUPW Looks to Extend Talks

Lockout or strike

CBJ — Canada Post will agree to a 30-day extension of talks with CUPW, but only on the condition that the union agrees to binding arbitration, something that CUPW has balked at until now. The postal service has given notice it will lock out unionized employees starting Monday if there’s no deal.

But the union says a cooling off period would keep the mail moving under the old contract while “intensive negotiations” continue.

The Crown corporation said it would be fine with the 30-day proposal, but only if “both parties must agree to binding arbitration” if no deal is reached during that time.

The union has been reluctant to go for arbitration in the past because any deal that emerges can be appealed, and then tied up in court proceedings for years.

The union says it rejects arbitration as a “matter of principle.”

The two sides remain far apart on several major issues after seven months of negotiations.

Canada Post had initially said it would lock out the 50,000 unionized employees today, but later extended the deadline to Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET.

@CanBizJournal

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