Striking postal workers reject Canada Post proposal to suspend job action over Christmas


WATCH: Canada Post had proposed that rotating strikes by unionized workers be suspended until Jan. 31, with mediation in the meantime and arbitration Feb. 1 if there was no deal. However, the union rejected the offer saying it wants to keep negotiating.

Uncertainty for Canada Post customers could continue after the union rejected a proposal Monday that would have seen the end to rotating strikes until after Christmas.

The carrier proposed the two sides agree to mediation and if that didn’t work, they would go to binding arbitration as of Feb. 1, 2019. The company was offering a $1,000 bonus to each employee if there was no more strike action before the end of January. But the union rejected the idea, saying it just wants to keep negotiating.

“We want an agreement that we can negotiate and that we can come to with both parties through negotiation, not arbitration,” said Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 718 (Courtenay) President Meagan Goudreault.

Goudreault says many of her colleagues work hours they aren’t paid for because their routes were designed years ago, but there are now so many packages in the mail they sometimes work 10 hours a day or longer and only get paid for six.

That workload will be even heavier leading up to Christmas, so the workers want changes before this year’s rush.

“Being on rotating strike, you know it’s frustrating for everybody but our livelihood is on the line as well,” said Goudreault. “We’re customers as well, I ship parcels to my family up in northern BC and Ontario.”

In 2011, the Conservative government legislated striking postal workers back to work after a two-week strike but on Monday Canada’s Employment Minister wasn’t saying if she would do the same, she just wants to two sides to keep talking.

“We are in a time of the year when businesses rely on Canada Post to deliver packages to Canadians. Canadians rely on Canada Post to communicate with each other and send packages across the country, And the postal workers’ families are suffering as well,” said Patty Hajdu.

Fearing their goods won’t be delivered, many Canadians say they’re avoiding online shopping this year and hitting brick and mortar stores instead.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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