Negotiations heating up at Canada Post: CUPW files for conciliation

Canadian Union of Postal Workers press release:

OTTAWA, Jan. 21 /CNW/ – The union representing 54,000 postal workers has filed for conciliation under the provisions of the Canada Labour Code. A government-appointed conciliator will now attempt to bring the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post Corporation to a negotiated settlement. The appointment of a conciliator starts the clock ticking towards a possible strike or lockout by the end of April.

“We’ve taken this action because Canada Post has to move from its hard-line position on demanding significant concessions from our members, even while it continues to post profits and spend money on technological changes,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President and Chief Negotiator.

Among the concessions that Canada Post is demanding is the replacement of postal workers’ sick leave with a short-term disability plan. It is also insisting on new work methods that the union considers unsafe. The new methods have already created huge problems and disruptions of mail service in Winnipeg, where they were first implemented last year. For new hires, the rollbacks include the imposition of a defined contribution pension plan rather than the current defined benefit plan. The union is adamant in its rejection of a two-tier system.

“Canada Post wants to eliminate the current pension plan for new hires now and then impose the new scheme on all employees during a future round of bargaining,” said Lemelin. “We have to take a strong stand now to maintain our public postal service and ensure that future workers will not suffer a deterioration in their working conditions.”

… and the Canada Post press release:

OTTAWA, Jan. 21 /CNW/ – Earlier today, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) filed for conciliation with the Government of Canada as part of ongoing negotiations aimed at reaching a new labour agreement. Collective bargaining between Canada Post and CUPW began on October 21, 2010.

Canada Post welcomes the assistance of a conciliator in our discussions with CUPW, and is optimistic it will help us reach a negotiated settlement. A conciliator meets with both parties, listens to their positions, and helps them work through issues at the bargaining table and find common ground. This process has proven successful in past rounds of labour negotiations. The terms and conditions of the current collective agreement will remain in place throughout conciliation.

Canada Post and its employees across the country have a proud history of serving every Canadian. Mail service will continue as normal while the current conciliation process runs its course and the parties keep working to obtain an agreement.

For more details on the negotiations, please visit www.infopost.ca.

  • Caribguy

    The Postal Workers do not oppose being updated and modernized. What they do oppose are the outragous unsafe individual delivery expectations being created, night time delivery times, loss of sick time credits (which results in more hassels and risk of being covered 100% when ill or injured as all workers should strive for) when they work in environments with many hazzards, potential decrease in pension income, and the inability to be trained to fill a job in the electronic segment of the corporation so surplus or lay-offs are a great possibility, there is no “bridge” being created for the current employees to be included in the modern electronic mail section so they want to either scare or squeeze them out.. CPC must take the current employees with them in the new direction of the company. Postal Workers want to serve the public daily. We all know that once electronic services lure us to do most things on line they will definitely jack up the prices and end up charging per email etc. Using electronic services solely just makes us slave to the ever rising costs of updating , having your own printer, paper, ink, rising costs of internet access and the pay for use sites etc. We would be selling our privacy for convenience which will be a grave mistake in hindsite later. Email services and physical mail must compliment each other . There is a percentage of the public that has on electronic access. I also note that there is no mention of the revenues being currently generated from their on-line services, which should off set any physical mail losses. With the grand infastructure of our current postal system there is no reason why we cannot be supplied with an affordable, reliable, daily mail service. We as consumers need to keep the ability of choice for our own benefit. Recent Canada Pension changes perfer that we work until we are 70, so why is a government department trying to rid itself of employees. There are many young,indebt and educated without job sources. It should be trying to employ more people, less hours with more time off and pay them well to kick start our economy. We would then have time and money to put the spin on our economy. We need to fight to keep our postal service public and delivering during the daylight hours. Mr. Chopra seems to have set up a system for immigrants to get employment and methods to help them get a good job so hopefully he has his helping hands out to help the diversified CUPW members that are now HIS employees. Do not try to make all of your financial goals on the backs of the workers who do the job..
    Fair treatment is the best treatment. Treat others the way the you would like to be treated, is a very true statement. We need more respect in many aspects of our current life, starting from the top down. We need better working and payments for all Canadian workers. We should be improving our lives.

    We work to live, Not live to work !!!

    Everyone in Canada should be able to have one job that pays enough to have a home, health care coverage, energy paid ,adequate food on the table and the ability to retire and enjoy some part of our short lives.