Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have reached tentative agreements which will last for two years.
The deal averts the prospect of a labour dispute that has loomed over the talks for months and comes just ahead of the all-important holiday season.
“The agreements will avert a work disruption, bringing much-needed certainty in the postal system for our employees and customers. Canadians can now use the postal system with confidence,” a Canada Post statement announced.
“We can’t give details of the agreements at this time, but we’re pleased that our members don’t have to resort to taking job action,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the CUPW said in a statement.
Over the weekend, CUPW had threatened job action which would have seen its’ members refuse to work overtime.
In the past, the agreements between Canada Post and CUPW lasted four years. The Crown corporation says the shorter deal will allow time for “thoughtful discussion and analysis” going forward as it notes “the issues facing the Corporation, with declining mail volumes and a growing pension obligation, are complex.”
WATCH: History behind long simmering Canada Post labour dispute
Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk announced the deal, saying the agreements were reached “voluntarily.”
She also stated, “These tentative agreements must now be ratified by employees.”
The issue of differences in paycheques for rural mail carriers – most of whom are women – and urban letter carriers had been at the forefront of protracted contract talks between the two sides.
The negotiations were extended twice since the weekend, when a deadline expired on a 72-hour job action notice issued last Thursday by the CUPW.
The two sides were in talks nearly around the clock at the request of a special mediator appointed Friday by Mihychuk.
With files from Kevin Nielsen, Global News.