Canada Post and unions go into arbitration

At the behest of Canada Post, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk has asked Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) to join in binding arbitration to resolve the current negotiations.

Canada Post has released a statement confirming that it has agreed to do this.

Canada Post said: “While negotiated settlements are always the preferred option, it has become clear that after seven months of negotiations, the parties remain far apart on key issues at the bargaining table. The uncertainty caused by the prolonged negotiations is having a severe impact on the business, our employees and our customers.

“It is our hope that CUPW will consider submitting to binding arbitration to end the uncertainty. Canada Post is extending the current 72-hour notice period to Monday at 12:01 am to provide time for the union to consider this option. A quick resolution is in the best interest of our employees, our customers and the long-term future of the postal system.”

In return, CUPW fired off its own update statement that announced it has filed a formal complaint to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) saying that, “Canada Post management has failed to negotiate in good faith and is interfering with the Union’s right to represent its members”.

The CUPW statement continued, “The complaint covers both the Urban and RSMC bargaining units. It describes in detail the refusal of CPC to engage in any meaningful discussions or negotiations regarding the RSMC unit. With respect to both the Urban and RSMC units, CPC has refused to negotiate on their global offers which were submitted one week prior to the parties obtaining the right to strike or lock-out. CPC has also circumvented the bargaining process by negotiating through the media. An example is they claim our proposals will cost $1 Billion, which they repeatedly make to the media but refuse the Union’s repeated requests to justify their numbers.

“Instead of bargaining, the employer has simply tabled offers that it knew would be totally unacceptable to the Union. Finally, management representatives have been communicating directly with Union members, making threats and spreading disinformation.

“Once both parties have made all of their submissions, the CIRB will determine its procedure. We have asked that the complaint be heard immediately.”

The CUPW did, leaven this by saying: “Today, we met with CPC, in the presence of the mediators, to discuss several issues. Although we cannot report any major progress, we remain committed to the negotiations process.”