Canada Post Strike 2016, CUPW: No Action Before Wednesday, July 6th [Updated]

Updates.

Read the latest Inquisitr update on the possible Canada Post strike.

CUPW now reports that the earliest that strike action may begin is on Wednesday, July 6.

Original article.

Although the membership of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has a mandate to strike beginning July 2, according to the CUPW blog, there will be “no strike action undertaken before Tuesday, July 5th.”

One thing is certain about the Canada Post strike, 2016 isn’t the first time the union, described as “militant,” has staged nationwide strikes. In 1978, then-CUPW leader Jean Claude Parrot was jailed for two months when he “defied back to work legislation,” as reported by the Canadian Encyclopedia.

The Canada Post website reports that once CUPW decides to strike, it “will not operate.” Updates will come from CUPW over the weekend and next week. Canada Post’s site reports that talks continue. There appears to have been no definitive confirmation from CUPW that a strike is a certainty.

CUPW: No action before Tuesday, July 5; Canada Post strike, 2016

Once a strike is announced, Canada Post will cease to operate. Those who depend on checks for their income, who have loved ones who do, or pay bills through the mail must make other plans. Package delivery services like DHL, Fedex, and UPS and bus companies like Greyhound and Ontario Northland are likely able to carry out any letter or package delivery unable to wait until the 2016 Canada Post strike is over. All Canadian banks and credit unions can facilitate bill payments and transfers potentially missed during a strike.

“Rule #1: You don’t get anything unless you fight for it,” a letter to future Canada Post employees on the CUPW website reads. “Rule #2: You don’t get to keep anything unless you keep fighting.”

Members of CUPW have been working under the terms of a collective agreement that expired on December 31, 2015. July 2 was the first day the union would be in a legal position to strike. Currently, CUPW indicates that no action will be taken before Tuesday, July 5, leaving the possibility that an agreement could still be reached. Talks between Canada Post and the union on the possibility of an agreement were reported to have begun in November, 2015.

CUPW reports that it has a membership of 54,000, represented by 210 locals, accounting for most of the 64,000 employees reported by Canada Post.

Deadlines for guaranteed delivery using all Canada Post services have now passed.

Canada Post strike 2016: Updates will come as the new, Tuesday, July 5 deadline approaches.

Canada Post and the union appear to be far apart on the issue of retirement savings. The CUPW membership is being offered protections for the existing memberships’ defined-benefit pension plans, while introducing defined-contribution pensions for new hires. The difference between the two is that defined-benefit plans guarantee a certain income for life when employees retire, whereas owners of defined-contribution plans must take on more responsibility, with a choice of investments, likely including mutual funds and guaranteed investment certificates, being offered.

Something potentially making the switch to defined-contribution pensions unattractive for CUPW, seemingly one of the root causes of the Canada Post strike 2016, is that interest rates are so low, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, making producing meaningful returns challenging, and causing investors to turn to the stock market, and riskier investments, in an attempt to boost them. That some employees are guaranteed retirements, while others would need to successfully navigate the investment marketplace, while working as postal employees, appears to not sit well with CUPW.

In addition to the lack of agreement over the pension benefits to be received by CUPW members, Canada Post cites a lack of willingness on the part of the union to allow the crown corporation to hire part-time and temporary employees, allowing it to expand its evening and weekend operations.

“With Canadians shopping online 24/7,” the statement from Canada Post reads. “The offer would allow us to establish temporary and part-time jobs to better enable us to deliver parcels on weekends and evenings. This would not only provide greater flexibility, especially during peak times, it would also help us manage costs and keep our prices competitive. Our current approach of providing this service while paying double-time is not financially sustainable.”

[Photo Courtesy of Kristoferb via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0]