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The Columbia Journal
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Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552
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  • Volume Eight, Number Five: July 2003

    Canada Post: Strike or Not

    By the time you read this (on Tuesday of after), Canada Post workers could be on strike, or still in negotiations with the corporation’s bosses.

    The union, which has been working without a contract since January 31, originally set midnight on Friday as a strike deadline, after months of talks had failed to budge company managers from a series of severe concession demands, including the elimination of severance pay for laid off or retiring workers.

    However, a last minute offer by the managers delayed any strike action. Since then, a counteroffer by the union’s negotiating team set the deadline back to midnight Monday.

    "It's good news," said manager representative John Caines at a press conference. "We're optimistic that a deal is close. Definitely, things are progressing well."

    Canadian Union of Postal Workers President Deborah Bourque said that some progress had been made in negotiations with the corporation. But she added there are still several contentious issues, especially around concession demands, that need to be resolved.

    But she remains hopeful that with their new offer, management may be changing its position. “It’s not the basis for a tentative agreement, but it is a sign that Canada Post may be taking negotiations more seriously."

    Canada Post employs two unions with a workforce of over 55,000 members, making it one of the largest employers in Canada. CUPW is by far the largest of the two organizations, with about 48,000 members working in every position from delivering and sorting mail, customer service, technical and plant maintenance and operating the company’s parcel, bulk freight, courier and telecom services.

    The remaining workers, who mostly supervise, administer and professionally service the corporation, are members of the Postal Communications Workers Union.

    They deliver approximately 37 million pieces of mail every day. Canada Post estimates its workers delivered almost 10 billion pieces of mail in 2002. It also claims that its postal rates are among the lowest among the major industrialized countries.

     

     





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