In a last-ditch effort to deliver the holidays, Canada Post has proposed to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) that the two parties work together through January during a cooling-off period that would immediately end rotating strikes, allow for mediation to resume and introduce a process to achieve a final resolution.
"With the rotating strikes, resulting backlogs, and the massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday volumes that will arrive within days, we are trying everything we can to work together with the union – urgently – to deliver the holidays to Canadians," says Jessica McDonald, Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim President and CEO of Canada Post. "This proposal also includes a way for the parties to resolve their differences and these negotiations."
If CUPW ends its strikes, the Corporation could begin to reduce the massive existing backlogs that threaten the holiday season, which is critical for countless small businesses, retailers and charities. There is an urgent need for Canada Post to restore full operations. With hundreds of trailers loaded with parcels already backlogged at its facilities – and the growing repercussions for customers and the Canadian retail economy – this proposal is open for acceptance until 5:00 p.m. on November 19. After that time, Canada Post would lose its last window of opportunity to clear the backlogs before the oncoming wave of volumes reaches its facilities.
In an effort to restore full operations and deliver oncoming volumes, Canada Post is proposing:
- A cooling-off period, effective immediately and lasting until January 31, 2019, which is past the holiday peak volumes, as well as high volumes driven by Boxing Day sales and the return of holiday purchases in January. During the cooling-off period, CUPW would not strike or take any other job action, and the Corporation would not lock out employees;
- Immediately starting further mediation with a jointly-agreed, government-appointed mediator until the end of the cooling-off period;
- A special payment of up to $1,000 for CUPW-represented employees that would be paid at the end of January if there is no labour disruption before the cooling-off period ends;
- To reinstate both collective agreements with CUPW, including all employee benefits, for the duration of the cooling-off period;
- If agreements have not been reached by January 31, the mediator would submit recommendations for settlement. If they are not adopted by the parties, binding arbitration would be introduced.
Canada Post is making this proposal in a spirit of cooperation and in hope of delivering the holidays to Canadians and avoiding the significant financial and economic damage that would be felt if rotating strikes continued.