Industrial action at Canada Post has been averted for the time being but disruption is still a possibility in the run up to Christmas as negotiations about a new agreement on working condition and pay continue. The Canadian Postal Worker’s Union (CPWU) balloted members in August and over 95% agreed with the union leadership that strikes should be an option. Such became a legal possibility at the end of August but no dates have been announced.
Canada Post has since responded with new offers and terms and talks continue. The CPWU represents 50k rural and urban postal workers in Canada. Saying of the offers on the table at negotiations at the moment, the union said:
The offers are disappointing. Canada Post still hasn’t addressed any of our major issues. We have a long way to go to achieve a negotiated collective agreement. For those eligible to job security, Canada Post would be allowed to assign you or not to a vacant position within a 75 km radius from your installation. This is a very complex proposal and a substantial amount of clarification is required to fully understand its impact.
– Mike Palecek, President, CPWU
Both Canada Post and the CPWU say they continue to negotiate and the Canadian government has also appointed mediators to help the process along.
Needless to say, the Christmas parcel sending season is utterly vital to an organisation such as Canada Post to keep it viable and thriving. They reportedly delivered one million parcels per day during the holiday season last year and that’s an increase of 20% over the same period in 2016. But it is the growth of parcel delivery, driven by the boom in ecommerce, that is part of the problem for Canada Post workers.
The increased workloads and bag loads that are being carried, as letter volumes have decreased, have changed the nature of the job and the union argues that this hasn’t been reflected in employee contacts and conditions.