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article imageNo mail for millions? Canada Post workers may strike by Thursday

By Andrew Moran     May 30, 2011 in Business
Ottawa - Millions of Canadians may not receive mail on Friday morning because Canada Post workers could strike at 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday. Canadian Union of Postal Workers has filed a notice of striking if the two sides do not reach an agreement.
On Jan. 31, the CUPW contract expired. Since May 25, the 48,000 postal workers have been in a legal strike position. The union received a 95 percent strike mandate from its members, but under federal law the organization must give 72 hours prior to a walkout.
On Monday, the CUPW made one final offer at a news conference to avoid a nationwide strike and to finally reach a settlement between the two sides after seven months of talks.
According to a Newswire press release, the union representing 48,000 postal workers has offered proposed wages of 3.3 percent, 2.75 percent, 2.75 percent and 2.75 percent over four years because of inflation.
Meanwhile, Canada Post has offered a four-year deal that would include a 1.9 percent wage increase each year for the first three years and a two percent hike in the final year, notes the Toronto Star.
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“Striking is our only real bargaining lever with Canada Post and we have concluded that we must give notice that we are willing to use our legal right to strike to get a decent contract that meets the needs of our members and preserves public postal service,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President.
“After seven months of negotiations, Canada Post continues to demand major concessions, including unsafe work methods, a 22 per cent wage reduction for new hires and the elimination of a sick leave plan that members have had for over 40 years.”
He added that Canada Post’s “intransigence” has forced the postal workers to either work in unsafe conditions or to prompt a strike, but noted that he hopes it won’t lead to either.
The Montreal Gazette reports that a spokesperson for Canada Post has stated that the offer is “very fair” and hopes the union will “seriously consider it.” In the end, Canada Post, said the spokesperson, hopes to reach an agreement.
Around 48,000 full-time, part-time and temporary union workers could strike at 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday.
More about Canada post, Strike, canadian Union of Postal Workers, collective bargaining, Mail
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