OTTAWA – A 72-hour lockout notice has been handed to Canada Post employees, meaning mail service across the country could grind to a halt by Friday.
However, the post office is quick to note the notice does not necessarily mean a lockout will begin that day.
The post office is making the move to “take measures that are necessary to respond to the changing business reality” – part of which is the financial cost of a decrease in mail volume.
“Online retailers, they’ve already moved more than 75 per cent of the parcels they give us to our competitors,” explains Jon Hamilton with Canada Post. “That’s how quickly things can move because they have to keep serving their customers. They’re not going to sit around and wait for us to finally give them some certainly.”
Canada Post also cites the lengthy negotiations that have been going nowhere, coupled with a strike mandate from the union.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers – which represents about 50-thousand employees – blames the corporation for unfair negotiations, and says a wage gap between rural and urban carriers is now a key point of contention.
But Hamilton says the numbers that the union is trotting out are misleading.
“In many rural areas, it’s more of a part-time job. They’re working six, six-and-a-half hours a day. That’s their situation. We’ve negotiated these agreements with CUPW in the past.”
Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government will not be introducing any back-to-work legislation.