Canada Post warns of potential labour disruption

June 27, 2016   ·   0 Comments

This morning, Canada Post issued a press release warning of a potential work disruption, which could begin on July 2. Government agencies, utility companies, and some workplaces began warning of an impending strike last week, when Canada Post accused it’s union of preparing to strike.

According to a report by CTV News last Thursday, Jennifer Savage of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) confirmed the union was conducting strike votes across the country, citing concerns about pension reform and job security as two of the driving factors.

Canada Post and CUPW have been involved in labour negotiations since late 2015, to address the expired contracts of Canadian postal workers. This week marks the final stretch of negotiation, with the expiry of talks occurring on July 2. If the parties have not been able to negotiate a settlement, either side could take action, with Canada Post locking-out employees, or staff could take legal strike action.

However, in order to do either, 72 hours notice must be given by either party, meaning for any action to occur legally on July 2, either side must make their intentions known by this Wednesday.

While Canada Post is referring to any action as only a possibility at this point, they are warning customers to take precautions when it comes to mail delivery.

“In the event of a labour disruption, Canada Post will not operate,” wrote the company in their press release this morning. “Mail and parcels will not be delivered, and no new items will be accepted. Any mail and parcels within the postal system during a work disruption will b secured and delivered as quickly as possible once operations resume.”

When Canada Post workers went on strike in 2011, the Conservative Government ordered them back to work. The backlog of mail waiting, as well as mail that was in the system when the strike occurred caused several months of mail chaos before Canada Post got back on track.

Negotiations for the new contracts began in late 2015, when CUPW officially served Canada Post with a Notice to Bargain regarding the urban operations unit and the RSMC unit, and talks have been ongoing last year.

According to Canada Post, the timeline of the negotiations has been as follows:

  • December 31, 2015 – The collective agreement between Canada Post and CUPW-RSMC expired. The terms and conditions have continued to apply.
  • January 31, 2016 – The collective agreement with CUPW-Urban expired. The terms and conditions have continued to apply.
  • April 4, 2016 – Canada Post filed a request with the Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to appoint conciliators to help stimulate constructive discussion at the separate bargaining tables. The process for requesting conciliation assistance is established by the Canada Labour Code.
  • April 11, 2016 – The Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour appointed conciliation officers to help in separate negotiations with the CUPW.
  • June 10, 2016 – The 60-day conciliation period officially ended, and a 21-day “cooling-off period” began.  Talks continued.
  • July 1, 2016 – The “cooling-off” period is set to expire, which means a legal work disruption could occur as early as July 2, 2016.

Also included in the press release from Canada Post were recommended ‘ship by’ dates, to ensure parcels and letters are delivered before the looming deadline. These are as follows, for products shipped within Canada only:

  • Expedited Parcel (Regional) – June 27, 2016
  • Expedited Parcel (Local) – June 29
  • Xpresspost (National and Regional) – June 28
  • Xpresspost (Local) – June 29
  • Priority Mail (National, Regional and Local) – June 29

More information on the potential labour disruption should be available by this Wednesday.

With files from CTV NEWS and CNW

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