Deadlock looming over Canada Post negotiations

By anna smith

Canada Post says discussions with the union representing postal workers are ongoing, and it still wants to negotiate a deal.

Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton says the company has not given the necessary 72 hours’ notice of a lockout. Furthermore, Hamilton said that the union has not given notice of any job action, despite having a strike mandate from members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Hamilton hopes they can reach an agreement that is "affordable and reasonable."

Changes to employee pension plans have been a major point of discussion in negotiations. The company wants to switch new hires to a defined contribution plan (different from the current one which guarantees a reliable payout monthly). The union doesn't want that, and has also proposed some wage increases.

A Canada Post representative says that the union's proposed plan would add "at least $1 billion" in costs over the next three years.

The statement also says that two other unions representing Canada Post workers have agreed to the pension changes, and only CUPW is abstaining.

Canada Post has not experienced a work stoppage since 2011, which involved 10 days rotating strikes and a lockout before employees were legislated back to work.

Canada Post made new contract proposals about a week ago, and the union presented a counter-offer on Friday.

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