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Canada Post Workers Reject “Cooling Off Period”

Fraser Valley/Ottawa – UPDATE – CUPW has rejected the Canada Post management’s proposal of a “cooling off” period followed by mediation that would have brought an end to all strike activity until January.

The “cooling off” proposal came with a $1,000 bonus to each employee if there was no more strike activity up until the end of January.

Over the weekend, CUPW failed to agree to binding arbitration as of February 1, 2019, saying it prefers to settle the dispute through collective bargaining.

The rotating strikes will continue across the country.

ORIGINAL STORY NOVEMBER 19 – The rhetoric in the Post Office dispute might be toned down.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers issued a request on Saturday for the federal government to appoint a mediator in its contract talks with Canada Post.

Canada Post had issued time sensitive proposals last week aimed at reaching agreements with its approximately 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural and suburban carriers.

Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t rule out back to work legislation, but stressed that he would like a negotiated settlement.

Seen as a last-ditch effort to deliver the holidays, Canada Post has proposed to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) that the two parties work together through January during a cooling-off period that would immediately end rotating strikes, allow for mediation to resume and introduce a process to achieve a final resolution.

This proposal is open for acceptance until 5PM Monday November 19. After that time, Canada Post would lose its last window of opportunity to clear the backlogs before the oncoming wave of volumes reaches its facilities.

In an effort to restore full operations and deliver oncoming volumes, Canada Post is proposing:

  • A cooling-off period, effective immediately and lasting until January 31, 2019, which is past the holiday peak volumes, as well as high volumes driven by Boxing Day sales and the return of holiday purchases in January. During the cooling-off period, CUPW would not strike or take any other job action, and the Corporation would not lock out employees;
  • Immediately starting further mediation with a jointly-agreed, government-appointed mediator until the end of the cooling-off period;
  • A special payment of up to $1,000 for CUPW-represented employees that would be paid at the end of January if there is no labour disruption before the cooling-off period ends;
  • To reinstate both collective agreements with CUPW, including all employee benefits, for the duration of the cooling-off period;
  • If agreements have not been reached by January 31, the mediator would submit recommendations for settlement. If they are not adopted by the parties, binding arbitration would be introduced.

CUPW’s key demands for postal workers are job security, an end to forced overtime and overburdening, better health and safety measures, service expansion and equality for RSMC’s (Rural and Suburban Mail Carrier) . The concern there is they are not paid the same as regular full time employees.

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