The Toronto Globe and Mail reported this weekend that talks between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have resumed. Canada Post has withdrawn its lockout notice and cleared the way for “serious negotiations.” In return they asked the union to make on its promised to not issue a strike notice.
The situation is obviously in flux but it was certainly good news that today’s deadline for a lockout has come and gone, and the two sides are heading back to the bargaining table. As this has dragged on for seven months at this point, let’s hope some significant progress can be made soon.
Here’s the latest update on the looming labor lockout and mail stoppage in Canada (see this MailBlogx post from June 13 for the back story). According to CBC News, Canadian Union of Postal Workers “has rejected a proposal from the federal labour minister to undergo binding arbitration to avoid a potential work stoppage.”
Canada Post has extended its deadline of Friday, July 8 to Monday, July 11 to allow for another 72 hours of negotiation. But the union has declined binding arbitration and is hoping to reach a negotiated settlement. It doesn’t look promising, eh?
If there is a work stoppage – what will this mean to you as a publication printer with subscribers or readers in places like Edmonton, Ottawa, or Thunder Bay? It’s not good news. So-called “essential mail” like child tax benefits, disability benefits, Old Age Security Pension, Canada Pension Plan benefits and benefits for veterans will continue to mail. But your publication? No, unfortunately not. And, if your journal or magazine has already entered the Canada Post mail stream and hasn’t been delivered yet, it will sit in a warehouse until this whole mess is resolved. It’s not as entertaining as the Stanley Cup hockey finals but it’s certainly got all the drama.
We’ll keep you “posted.”
According to several sources in both the Canadian news services and the international delivery industry, signs are pointing toward a possible Canada Post Lockout of workers this summer. Collective agreements with the union representing postal workers have expired and things are not looking promising. Talks have been underway since late 2015 but the sides are still far apart and little headway has been made. The union has accused management of trying to provoke a labor dispute and making unreasonable demands while a counter argument is being made about the realities of a changing business environment and the evolution of customer needs. Meanwhile, Canada Post has told some of its biggest customers, including the federal government, “to make contingency plans ahead of a possible contract dispute.” If agreement isn’t reached in June, a lock out of union members could start on July 2.
What this all means for domestic and international mail delivery and how long the potential disruption would last, is anybody’s guess. We’ll keep you updated as news breaks.
Sources: CBC News, Toronto Star, International Delivery Solutions