It was still unclear as of May 20 whether Canada Post employees represented by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers would go on strike to protest the company’s latest offer.
The earliest date workers could strike is tomorrow, May 25; however, due to the May long weekend and the Leader’s early deadline, the results of the vote were not known by press time. Canada Post tabled its final offer to the union on May 17, which it states is fair and reasonable, and represents its best offer to the union.
Canada Post spokesperson John Caines said the company and the union are diligently trying to get a deal.
“That’s what we’re focusing on,” Caines said. “We made an offer to the union on May 17 that we feel will see our employees better off than they are today. We’ve offered a wage increase, to continue with their pension plan and a sick plan that is better than it is today. More than 50 per cent of the employees don’t have enough banked sick days under the old plan to carry them through a serious illness or if they get injured while on duty, and we want to rectify that by having them accept the same sick plan the rest of the bargaining units have in the company.”
May 24 at midnight is the day when Canada Post can be in a legal position to lock out the union, and it’s the day when those employees can declare a strike, he said. That doesn’t mean anything is going to happen.
“We’re working hard to get a deal, and we’re waiting for them to respond to our offer. There is ample time to get this done, even beyond the deadline,” he said.
In the event that a strike does occur, Barrhead Leader subscribers will be able to pick up their papers at the office at 5015 51st St. The strike will not affect mail delivery in Onoway, Glenevis, Sangudo and Mayerthorpe. Furthermore, postal workers will continue to deliver cheques to pensioners and social assistance recipients even in the event of a national strike or lockout, according to CUPW’s website.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers stated on its website that its issue is with their employer Canada Post, not retirees or those on low incomes. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers offered to deliver pension and social assistance cheques early on in their negotiations with Canada Post. The details have now been worked out. Volunteers from the union will deliver federal Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Child Benefits cheques, as well as provincial social assistance cheques in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the North West Territories.