(Canada Post)

Canada Post ‘cooling off’ period won’t resolve postal dispute, says CUPW

CUPW national president Mike Palecek says the union isn’t holding rotating strikes to harm the public

Striking postal workers have rejected a call from Canada Post for a “cooling off” period to accompany mediated talks aimed at ending the labour dispute that has seen mail and packages backed up at distribution centres across the country.

Canada Post said this morning it would agree to another round of mediation with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, but only if its striking workers end their rotating walkouts.

It also called for binding arbitration if no settlement is reached by the end of January.

READ MORE: Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

In a statement, CUPW national president Mike Palecek says the union isn’t holding rotating strikes to harm the public.

But Palecek says he won’t ask his members to return to work under conditions that effectively have some employees working without compensation.

“The proposal asks our members to go back to work at the heaviest and most stressful time of year, under the same conditions that produce the highest injury rate in the federal sector,” he said in a statement. “It asks women to continue to do work for free. How can we do that?”

Canada Post proposed the so-called cooling off period, and binding arbitration should talks fail by Jan. 31, as pressure mounts to resolve the ongoing labour dispute ahead of the busy Christmas delivery season.

In a statement, the Crown corporation said it wanted CUPW members to put down their picket signs while talks are on, and offered a special payment of up to $1,000 for each member if there is no labour disruption while mediated talks were on.

“With the rotating strikes, resulting backlogs, and the massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday volumes that will arrive within days, we are trying everything we can to work together with the union — urgently — to deliver the holidays to Canadians,” Jessica McDonald, chair of the board of directors and interim president and CEO of Canada Post, said in the statement. “This proposal also includes a way for the parties to resolve their differences and these negotiations.”

Canada Post said it would start talks “with a jointly agreed, government-appointed mediator,” while reinstating both its collective agreements with CUPW during the cooling off period.

If an agreement were not reached by Jan. 31, the corporation said a mediator would provide recommendations for settlement. If the sides didn’t agree, it said binding arbitration would follow.

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer and also requested the government appoint a mediator to help end the ongoing dispute.

The union had let pass a time-sensitive proposal from Canada Post meant to stop the strikes affecting about 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural and suburban carriers.

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu wouldn’t say whether Ottawa would oblige the request for a mediator, but indicated it was a good sign that both sides were still talking.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a last-minute plea to the two sides to resolve their differences, just hours before a midnight deadline on the Crown corporation’s latest offers expired.

The strikes have created a huge backlog of undelivered mail, prompting some businesses to issue pleas for a resolution.

The Retail Council of Canada urged Ottawa to “bring an immediate end” to the rotating strikes through back-to-work legislation.

Canada Post says the suspension of strikes could allow it to begin reducing the massive backlog of mail and parcels now sitting in hundreds of trailers at sorting centres across the country.

Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

1 in 7 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19

56 additional cases Thursday, 1,107 active cases remain in the province

Seven vying to lead ECN

Challengers to incumbent include NGCI president

Two females arrested for carjacking in Leduc; sword and bear spray used as weapon

Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis female arrested for carjacking.

94 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, two more deaths

1,146 active cases with 9,891 recovered cases

COVID-19: One more death reported in central zone

Number of active cases has decreased by more than 200 since last week

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Sylvan Lake man’s documentary getting limited run in Alberta theatres

Scott McDermott’s documentary will be in 14 theatres, including Sylvan Lake and Wetaskiwin

Other communities can learn from Sexsmith: AUMA president

Alberta Urban Municipalities Association is an advocacy group for urban municipalities

Proposed oil and gas assessment changes could have big impact on municipal revenues

Croup representing urban municipalities is concerned about the outcome

‘Do our lives count for less?’: COVID-19 exposes cracks in disability aid

In July, Parliament approved a $600 payment for people with disabilities facing additional expenses during COVID-19

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Feds look to finalize deal with airlines amid contact tracing concerns

Feds look to finalize deal with airlines amid contact tracing concerns

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Booking.com cuts workforce by thousands as travel atrophies

Booking.com cuts workforce by thousands as travel atrophies

Most Read