Idle Canada Post trucks sit in the parking lot of the Saint-Laurent sorting facility in Montreal as rotating strikes hit the area on Thursday November 15, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Canada Post proposed a “cooling off” period with its striking postal workers Monday as pressure mounts to resolve the ongoing labour dispute ahead of the busy Christmas delivery season.

In a statement, the Crown corporation agreed with a proposal from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to bring another mediator into the ongoing contract dispute — but with a catch.

It said it wants CUPW members to put down their picket signs until the end of January while talks are on, and offered a special payment of up to $1,000 for each member if there is no labour disruption before the so-called cooling off period ends.

“With the rotating strikes, resulting backlogs, and the massive Black Friday and cyber Monday volumes that will arrive within days, we are trying everything we can to work together with the union — urgently — to deliver the holidays to Canadians,” Jessica McDonald, chair of the board of directors and interim president and CEO of Canada Post, said in the statement.

“This proposal also includes a way for the parties to resolve their differences and these negotiations.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if the union would agree to the offer, which came with a deadline of 5 p.m. Monday.

Canada Post said it would start talks “with a jointly-agreed, government-appointed mediator,” while reinstating both collective agreements with CUPW during the cooling off period.

If an agreement is not reached by Jan. 31, the corporation says a mediator would provide recommendations for settlement. If not adopted by the parties, it said binding arbitration would be introduced.

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer and requesting the government appoint a mediator to help end the ongoing dispute.

Read more: CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Read more: Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

The union had let pass a time-sensitive proposal from Canada Post meant to stop the strikes affecting about 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural and suburban carriers.

A spokeswoman for Labour Minister Patty Hajdu wouldn’t say whether Ottawa would oblige the request for a mediator, but indicated it was a good sign that both sides remained committed to finding a solution.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a last-minute plea to the two sides to resolve their differences, just hours before the midnight deadline on the Crown corporation’s offers expired.

The strikes have created a huge backlog of undelivered mail, prompting some businesses to issue pleas for a resolution.

The Retail Council of Canada urged Ottawa to “bring an immediate end” to the rotating strikes through back-to-work legislation.

Canada Post says the suspension of strikes could allow it to begin reducing the massive backlog of mail and parcels now sitting in hundreds of trailers.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

PLACE NAMES: Kootenay, the post offices and ships

A CPR sternwheeler and two navy destroyers took the name Kootenay

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read