JULY 5, 2016 – Canada Post has filed a 72-hour notice of a lockout to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), informing its largest union that postal services could grind to a halt on Friday, July 8.
The notice comes one day after the Crown corporation informed CUPW that its offer made on June 25 was final, and after it rejected a counter-offer submitted by CUPW on June 28.
Despite the notice filing, Canada Post officials said that it does not necessarily mean that a lockout on July 8 is definite. Rather, it gives the Corporation the flexibility to adjust staffing according to the amount of work required. Canada Post noted that mail volumes have dropped sharply as customers move their mailings and parcel delivery to other services in anticipation of a work stoppage. There can be no legal work disruption before 12:01 AM on Friday, July 8, 2016.
For newspapers, the 72-hour notice means that Publications Mail and Neighbourhood Mail deposited today under the local category may become trapped in postal facilities if a lockout occurs on July 8. Delivery standards for local Publications Mail and Neighbourhood Mail are three business days, but they are not guaranteed. To compound the matter, rural newspaper publishers have been reporting inconsistent and delayed delivery to Newspapers Canada, which works with publishers and Canada Post to investigate and resolve.
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 expired 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.
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:
- Canada Post – Announcements at https://www.canadapost.ca/web/en/blogs/announcements/list.page?cattype=announcements&cat=newsreleases
- Canada Post – Negotiations Updates at https://www.canadapost.ca/web/en/comm/list.page?ecid=murl|ddn|lr|5
- Canada Post – Updates: CUPW Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers at http://cupw-rsmc.infopost.ca/
- Canada Post – Updates: CUPW Urban at http://cupw-urban.infopost.ca/
- Canadian Union of Postal Workers – Urban and RSMC Negotiations at http://www.cupw.ca/en/collective-agreements/urban-and-rsmc-negotiations
For more information, contact your Canada Post account representative or:
- Canada Post – Commercial Service Network: Toll-free 1-866-757-5480
- Newspapers Canada:
John Hinds, Chief Executive Officer, email@example.com
Tina Ongkeko, Managing Director, Member Services, firstname.lastname@example.org