The union representing postal workers says it has presented Canada Post Corporation (CPC) with new offers, and workers won’t be striking before Wednesday.
A July 1st media release from the Canadian Union of Postal Employees (CUPW) stated: “Today we presented CPC with our Global Offers for both the urban and RSMC collective agreements. As a result, we will not be servicing our 72-hour notice. Therefore, there will be no industrial action prior to July 6th.”
Provided that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers gives 72 hours notice, 50,000 of its members are legally allowed to strike starting Saturday, and Canada Post is also allowed to lock out its workers.
CUPW representatives say the union hasn’t presented its notice.
Read the CUPW offer here
In a media release dated June 29th,2016, the Union representing Canada Post employees said: ‘CEO Deepak Chopra has officially rejected a letter from postal workers asking him to extend the July 2 deadline for a lockout by a period of two weeks, which could mean that the profitable company is indeed preparing to lock out its workforce in the middle of a public postal review, spoiling the process.
“We only got their first real ‘offer’ last Saturday (June 25th,2016) and it still contained a raft of cuts to our working standards that they know we could never accept,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
Canada Post’s haste to push matters to a head in the bargaining process while insisting on hefty cuts has had the CUPW crying foul from the beginning. “Canada Post managers started this countdown to a labour dispute by filing for conciliation shockingly early on in the negotiations process,” said Palecek.
In a letter handed out to postal workers on Wednesday, June 30th,2016, one of Chopra’s human resources executives claims that agreeing to the union’s request to extend talks would only delay matters and produce further “uncertainty” for its customers.’
“So they’re going to kill the mail and remove all uncertainty, I guess” said Palecek.
The Crown Corporation, which netted almost $100 million last year and is in its 20th year of profits, is trying to cut back workers’ pensions and remove job security protections, among other cuts. It is refusing to listen to union proposals for the expansion of services and pay equity for rural and suburban mail carriers, 70% of which are women.
The union and Canada Post both say the number one sticking point in negotiations involves changes to employee pension plans.
Canada Post tabled new contract proposals a week ago, and on Friday (July 1st), the union came forward with a counter-offer.
The union is proposing wage hikes, and rejecting Canada Post’s suggestion that new employees get a pension plan that operates like an RRSP, called ‘defined contribution’, instead of the ‘defined benefit plan’ for current employees that guarantees a set level of retirement benefits.
The last time Canada Post experienced a work stoppage was in 2011, which included 10 days of rotating strikes and a lockout before employees were legislated back to work by the federal government.