Canada Post in nationwide shut down
Canada Post has been left with “no choice” but to suspended operations across the country. The move follows 12 days of rotating strike action commissioned by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).
Canada Post said the “increasingly costly and damaging” industrial action has accelerated a decline in mail volumes and revenue, with estimated losses climbing to $100m after yesterday’s (Tuesday) walk-out in Montreal and Toronto.
The operator added that these losses have put its ability to remain self-sufficient into jeopardy.
After several months of negotiations between the operator and the CUPW, the two sides remain “far apart on several fundamental issues”, with a Canada Post spokesperson adding that “there has been no progress made at the negotiating table for weeks.”
As a part of a four-year deal, the CUPW is demanding a wage increase of 3.3% for the first year, followed by a 2.75% increase for the three remaining years. Canada Post previously offered an increase of 1.9% a year, with a base wage rate of $18 per hour for new employees, and a cap of $26 per hour for existing employees. The two parties are also debating changes to the company’s sick plan.
Defending the decision to shut down operations, Canada Post said that ongoing strikes have raised concerns about the company’s ability to move the mail while keeping its employees and customers safe.
A spokesperson for Canada Post said: “We believe that a lockout is the best way to bring a timely resolution to this impasse and force the union to seriously consider proposals that address the declining mail volumes and the $3.2-bn pension deficit.
“Canada Post continues to believe that the best result from this round of bargaining is a negotiated settlement. The company had hoped to reach an agreement without a disruption in Canada’s postal service which is why the company made every effort to protect the pay, pension and job security of existing employees.”
The CUPW is expected to release a statement in regards to the nationwide shut down later today.
On Monday, the Canadian Government said it is keeping out of the current row between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.