Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Canada Post, union meet to avert strike

President and CEO of Canada Post Deepak Chopra is meeting with Canadian Union of Postal Workers president Denis Lemelin in Ottawa to try to avert a strike. Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press

The president of Canada Post is meeting with his counterpart at the union representing postal workers in a bid to avert a possible strike.

Deepak Chopra, president and CEO of Canada Post and Canadian Union of Postal Workers president Denis Lemelin are meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday to find common ground to try to reach a deal and avoid a disruption of mail service.

Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said she is pleased at the development.
"The parties are still meeting and the best possible outcome is for them to come to their own deal," she said from Ottawa. "They're at the table now. We want them to get a deal. That's mainly the focus."

Raitt declined to answer a reporter's question about legislating postal workers back to work.

The two sides have been in contract talks for more than seven months. The union rejected Canada Post's final offer and tabled its own counter-offer on Monday.

Canada Post called the union's offer "out of touch" with the challenges currently facing the Crown corporation, which includes a core letter mail business that has fallen by more than 17 per cent since 2006, and a deficit of $3.2 billion.

Postal workers have indicated they are prepared to walk off the job at midnight Thursday if their contract demands aren't met.
Canada Post said small businesses, rural communities and seniors who rely on mail service to deliver their pension cheques would be particularly hard hit by a strike.

The union, which represents close to 50,000 letter carriers and other workers, is asking for a four-year contract with wage increases of 3.3 per cent in the first year and 2.75 in years two and three. Sick leave and pensions are also issues.

The average starting wage for postal workers is $23 an hour.
Canada Post has tabled an offer that includes a defined benefit pension plan for both new and existing employees, up to seven weeks vacation and job security.

No comments:

Post a Comment