OTTAWA – In what postal workers say is a “cynical attempt to provoke a labour dispute,” Canada Post Corporation has filed for conciliation surprisingly early on in its negotiation process with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“This is unprecedented in our history,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, “Canada Post has not even finished giving us their demands and they are already preparing to push matters to a head”.
The long list of concessions demanded by the Crown Corporation so far includes hefty rollbacks on pensions, benefits and job security. Canada Post negotiators have refused to consider any of the union's proposals, including ideas for service expansion and pay equity for the female-dominated rural carriers.
“In June 2011, Deepak Chopra had no scruples about shutting down the postal system and locking workers out,” said Palecek. “These Harper appointees want to break our union at any cost, with no regard for the public and the services they rely on.”
The union also points out that a postal review is in the works and that Canada Post’s actions could interfere with that process.
“Canada Post should be preparing for public consultations about the future of the post office,” said Palecek. “Not declaring war on its workers.”