Postal strike continues as meetings hit impasse
Postal workers remain on a rotating strike this weekend as Canada Post rejects offer to reinstate the old collective agreement.
In response to a request from Labour Minister Lisa Raitt yesterday, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) agreed to suspend strike activity. The union’s only condition was that the terms of its collective agreement would be reinstated.
In 1991, when CUPW suspended its strike action to assist mediation efforts, Canada Post agreed to reinstate the union’s collective agreement, but Canada Post’s management rejected the union’s offer.
“This behaviour on the part of Canada Post Corporation is totally unacceptable,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW national president and chief negotiator. “We are showing that we are willing to suspend our strike in good faith and with goodwill, as the Minister requested. Once again, Canada Post is rejecting any of our efforts to resolve the issues.”
In a statement released by Canada Post, they said that “nothing will be gained by reverting back to the previous agreement after so much damage has already been done to the business. Until there is a proper resolution to this labour dispute, the uncertainty will continue to push customers away. We understand that our customers will not come back until they are confident the postal system will be functional and reliable for a sustained period of time.
“We need flexibility to manage costs in response to the large drop in volume and corresponding revenues caused by the union’s activities. We also need to be able to end the uncertainty and achieve a new collective agreement that sets a course for the future.”
Canada Post also stated that they feel they have a very fair and generous offer on the table and will therefore not support any effort by the union to delay this process further.
As a result of Canada Post’s rejection, the union will continue its strike action in an effort to force Canada Post to negotiate. This weekend, postal workers in Red Deer, Alberta, are on the picket line.
Negotiations meetings are scheduled for this evening and will continue over the weekend.