At that point, the union says Canada Post might either lock its workers out or try to force a walkout through punitive changes to their working conditions.
“We are asking management to give us a chance, to give the public review a chance, to keep sitting down with us at the bargaining table, and give the workers a chance to get a fair deal,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
The profitable Crown Corporation has been talking tough with its workers, despite being in its 20th profitable year out of the past 22. Postal workers are fighting exorbitant demands for cutbacks and concessions that they say just aren’t reasonable in light of the company’s success.
“Mr. Chopra and his executive team are getting their bonuses every year,” said Palecek, referring to the Harper-appointed President and CEO who has refused to resign since the Liberals took office. “We don’t understand why he needs to squeeze so much out of the people who are making the profits for him.”
If Canada Post management refuses to extend the cooling-off period, Palecek says his union still aims to keep negotiations going.
“We’re concerned that a labour dispute will taint the outcome of the very important review that the Liberals are conducting,” said Palecek. “We’ll do everything we can to avert that.”