As the clock ticks down on a possible strike deadline, Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers will begin working with a special mediator Friday morning.
The union issued a 72-hour notice of job action Thursday, at the same time accusing the Crown corporation of trying to force a labour dispute.
Speaking in Saguenay, Quebec, Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said she was hoping for a “significant resolution” before the deadline, which is 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
While a full-blown walkout is not expected, the union could see its nearly 51,000 workers cut back on their work hours, along with the threat of further action.
In a letter obtained by AM980, addressed to Chief Negotiator Bruno Cadieux, the Union says members would only work regular hours, cutting all overtime hours, and that strike action would rotate by province and territory.
The Union included a warning in the letter that any action taken on the part of the Crown corporation that would be considered hostile may lead to more significant action.
Postal carriers are in a legal position to strike by midnight on Sunday, with possible disruption to mail service starting at the same time.
The two sides have been in negotiations for more than nine months, but as of Thursday remain far apart on key issues including pay equity for rural carriers and proposed changes to the Canada Post pension plan.