OTTAWA, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ – Canada Post Chief Executive Officer Deepak Chopra is prepared to again meet with Denis Lemelin, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), to discuss the fair offer that has been tabled by the company. Mr. Chopra expects that Mr. Lemelin will come to the meeting with a meaningful offer that addresses declining mail volumes, competitiveness, and a $3.2-billion solvency deficit in the pension plan.
Mr. Chopra had previously met with Mr. Lemelin after the union issued 72-hour notice of its intention to commence strike activities. After that meeting, Canada Post made significant concessions in an effort to avoid a damaging work disruption but to no avail. Mr. Chopra would again be willing to meet Mr. Lemelin provided the union moves off its costly demands and works with Canada Post to address pressing issues that are challenging the business.
Throughout this round of labour negotiations, Canada Post has made every effort to protect the pay, pension and job security of existing employees. Specifically, the company has offered to provide current regular employees with the following:
* Annual wage increases that will bring the top wage rate to $26 an hour
* Continued job security
* No changes to a fully indexed defined benefit pension plan
* Comprehensive health benefits for employees and retirees
* Generous vacation leave that gives employees up to seven weeks off each year
* The same sick leave program that has been implemented for other employees
To protect what current employees have, the company has proposed adjusting its offering for employees hired in the future. The package for new employees is superior to the wages and benefits offered by competing logistic and delivery companies and includes a starting wage of $19 an hour that rises to the same $26 an hour maximum as existing employees over seven years; up to six weeks vacation; and a fully indexed defined benefit pension by age 60.
Canada Post regrets any inconvenience caused to customers and the public by the work disruption. However, people who rely on government socio-economic cheques need not worry. Canada Post signed an agreement with CUPW in March 2011 that would ensure socio-economic cheques continue to be delivered. Canada Post fully intends to honour this agreement, and has never suggested otherwise to the union. More than two million socio-economic cheques are scheduled to be delivered by regular mail on June 20 despite the current work disruption.