The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) urban operations bargaining unit is moving to vote on a strike mandate. Negotiations between Canada Post and the CUPW remain at a standstill after the union asked for conciliation in January. The two parties have been negotiating for five months.
Canada Post is presenting the union with a deal that lowers wages for future temporary employees and eliminates the current sick leave plan, replacing it with a short-term disability plan. CUPW does not favour the short-term disability plan and wants new hires to move through wage increments just as current employees do.
“We feel that Canada Post has been successful all these years because of its employees,” says Denis Lemelin, CUPW's National President. “We want to continue that quality service by continuing to hire the best employees.”
Lemelin also says that Canada Post has spent a lot of time restructuring the organization and notes a recent $2-billion investment could have been better distributed. He says the majority of the money was used to upgrade mail distribution technology, rather than allocating some of it to employee advancement.
“We are all for the productivity gains,” he says, “but this money needs to be used to develop financing and banking services so that everyone can benefit from new technology.”
If the urban operations bargaining unit votes yes to a strike mandate, postal workers across Canada could be on the picket line by the end of April.