Canada Post, union still talking

Work stoppage has so far been averted at Canada Post.

Work stoppage has so far been averted at Canada Post.

As of Thursday, neither Canada Post nor Canadian Union of Postal Workers have given 72-hours notice of a lockout or strike.

Talks between management and the union have failed to produce a collective agreement for 60,000 workers after seven months of negotiation and 60 days of conciliation.

About 240 Canada Post employees work in and around Red Deer.

But both sides say they are still focused on negotiating a deal.

“We remain committed to negotiating and hopeful we’ll get a deal. But we want to move this forward quickly to end the uncertainty that is having a huge impact on our business, customers and on our employees,” said Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton.

Canada Post put forward its global offer on Saturday and is waiting for CUPW to come to table to discuss it.

“The offers we put forward are based on our reality. We can’t add a lot. But there’s definitely increases in pay,” said Hamilton on Thursday.

Wages for carriers currently range from $19 to $25 an hour.

CUPW says it’s been waiting and waiting for a global offer from the company. In 2011, Canada Post put forth its first global offer over two months before the strike and lockout.

Larry Dionne, president of CUPW Edmonton Local, said the global offer is a least a starting point for negotiations.

“Up until now there’s just been a lot of talk,” Dionne said.

He said the union’s counter offer will likely be provided before Sunday.

He said the union needs to get clear on what the employer has offered because what was sent to the national union and what the employer told workers doesn’t match up.

This week CUPW proposed talks be extended by two weeks and delay the possibility of lockout or strike. Canada Post rejected the idea.

“We don’t want a labour disruption. We don’t want to go on strike. We’re middle class. Going without a pay cheque is going to hurt our members,” Dionne said.

In the event of postal disruption, government cheques will still be delivered.

In 2011 when contract negotiations collapsed, CUPW began a series of rotating strikes followed by Canada Post locking out its workers. After 27 days, workers were back on the job after the federal government imposed back to work legislation.

Two months ago, the Ontario Superior Court ruled the federal government violated CUPW members’ freedom of association and expression by legislating them back to work in 2011.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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