UPDATED: Canada Post and CUPW talks continue as newspapers brace for postal disruption

UPDATED JULY 2, 2016 – On July 1, CUPW presented global offers for both the urban and RSMC units to Canada Post. As a result, CUPW did not file its 72-hour notice, confirming that there will be no job action prior to July 6.

JUNE 30, 2016 — As Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) continue to negotiate new contracts for 50,000 urban and rural postal workers, businesses across the country are bracing themselves for a postal service stoppage that could occur as early as this weekend.

Small businesses, particularly those in the retail sector, are turning to couriers and other parcel delivery services. During the last postal disruption in summer 2011, newspapers relied on a variety of alternatives, including providing access to e-editions and online news, allowing subscribers to pick up their copies at the newspaper office, placing racks in strategic locations, piggybacking with other publications, and using driver and carrier forces. Rural businesses, including hundreds of community newspapers, are among those who would be hardest hit by a postal disruption due to a lack of viable alternatives.

Newspapers Canada has reached out to Canada Post officials, who noted that in the event of a work stoppage, mail will not be accessible as Canada Post facilities will not be accessible. Mail that was already accepted will be secured and delivered upon return to work. However, Canada Post will make every effort to deliver all mail items prior to a work disruption.

Contracts for the urban and rural units that were set to expire in December 2015 and January 2016 were later extended and are now due to expire on July 2, 2016. After months of negotiation, a conciliation period ended on June 10, 2016, with no new collective agreements, and both sides entered a 21-day “cooling off” period that expires on July 1. Canada Post and CUPW are each required to give 72 hours’ notice of a strike, lockout or other job action such as rotating strikes.

News reports indicate that the two sides remain at odds over wage parity, hiring policies, and pension plans for current and future employees. Canada Post put forward its latest offers to CUPW on June 25. On June 28, CUPW requested a two-week extension of the cooling off period, which Canada Post declined. Canada Post has also warned that any job action would be met with a full shutdown.

Newspapers Canada will continue to monitor the situation and keep members informed of further developments. We urge members to investigate both print and digital options to minimize disruption of news delivery to readers.

For the latest news, visit the Canada Post section of the Newspapers Canada website at https://nmc-mic.ca/canadapost, or any of the following:

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