Unless a last minute deal is reached, people in London and across the country face a possible disruption to mail service by the end of the week.
Canada Post issued a 72-hour lockout notice early Tuesday morning to the union representing 50,000 postal workers, setting the stage for a possible work stoppage by Friday.
The notice was issued just a few hours after the Crown Corporation expressed hope that negotiations would continue, arguing it’s latest offer presented on June 25th was fair and reasonable.
Canada Post now plans to pull the plug on the collective agreement, blaming prolonged talks, the union’s strike mandate and the financial burden of declining mail volume.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is denouncing the lockout notice as an attempt to starve employees into submission. The union also accused Canada Post of creating uncertainty by warning the public to avoid the post office.
The union will hold a press conference Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. and AM980 will carry it live.
Canada Post has said the 72-hour notice does not necessarily mean it will shut down on Friday, and said it would “take measures that are necessary to respond to the changing business reality.”
It’s unclear exactly what that will look like, but if there’s a full work disruption on Friday mail and parcels will not be delivered, and no new items will be accepted.
However, there are a few exceptions.
The Canada Revenue Agency has deemed Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, Working Income Tax Benefit and the Canada Child Benefit cheques “essential” — even during a labour disruption.
So if that happens, Canada Post will arrange delivery one day of the month.
The two sides have said the key sticking point in negotiations involves changes to employee pension plans, with Canada Post arguing CUPW’s demands are “not affordable” and would add $1 billion in costs over the life of a new contract.