Canada Post Strike 2016: Mail Delivery Continues, ‘Lockout’ Of CUPW Members May Begin Friday [Updated]


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

On July 5, Canada Post reported that it has issued a “72-hour notice” to CUPW and that disruptions to mail delivery could begin as early as Friday, July 8, but are not certain. Social media users are referring to the action as a “lockout.”

Original article: Despite the passing of a July 2 deadline, the earliest date the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) could legally begin action, mail delivery continues in Canada today and is expected to continue tomorrow. A 2016 Canada Post strike is not yet certain, with CUPW reporting that it has not served a “72-hour notice,” required for legal action.

“Canada Post is extremely disappointed with the response from… CUPW at the bargaining tables,” a statement issued by the crown corporation reads. Canada Post further expressed frustration with a reported unwillingness on the part of CUPW to bend on the issue of defined-contribution pensions.

“For many years, CUPW has consistently taken the position that the best response to falling mail volumes is to expand into new services which meet the needs of the public and add revenues for Canada Post,” a release by CUPW states. “Our view is that CPC should expand its existing services such as parcel delivery and direct mail, as well as initiate new services such as postal banking.”

2016 Canada Post Strike: CUPW is balking at offers that new employees be presented with defined-contribution pension plans and that defined-benefit plans be reserved for current employees.

The Inquisitr has previously reported how with the potential for a Canada Post strike, 2016 isn’t the first time the union has threatened, or followed through with, shutting down the mail service in Canada. Then-CUPW leader, Jean Claude Parrot, spent two months in jail for defying back to work legislation in 1978.

Canada Post reports a desire to provide new hires with defined-contribution pensions, while maintaining defined-benefit plans for employees who already have them. Management also states that all employees would receive raises.

In its most recent release, Canada Post cited last-minute offers tabled by CUPW that would cost “at least $1 billion.” The corporation states that its pension is facing a “solvency deficit” of $6.2 billion.

It appears that the Canada Post Pension Plan is having difficulty keeping up with its obligations, which appears to not to be an unheard-of occurrence, as reported by US News. Also not uncommon is Canada Post’s desire to move new employees to defined-contribution plans.

Canada Post Strike 2016: CUPW and Canada Post are reported to remain far apart on the issue of defined-benefit pensions for new hires, as mail delivery continues, at least for today and tomorrow.

With defined-contributions plans, employees are responsible for their own retirement. Help is available from financial professionals who offer the pensions, in conjunction with employers, but employees are responsible for the investments they choose and must live with them.

With defined-contribution plans, Canada Post and other employers have much lower potential liability than they do with defined-benefit pensions.

The problem with defined-benefit plans for employers like Canada Post is that they are taking employee’s savings and promising to return more in the future. Currently, with interest rates so low, pension fund managers are forced to take on more and more risk, leading to situations like a “solvency deficit” of $6.2 billion.

Defined-benefit pensions, it would seem, were created to keep average employees from having to bear the responsibility of such important life decisions as managing investments or selecting a mutual fund, or a mutual fund over a guaranteed investment certificate; upon the idea that every employee should be able to enjoy returns comparable with average.

What people don’t like about defined-contribution plans is the same thing that’s killing some defined-benefit plans: risk, being passed around like some seeming hot potato. Someone’s got to take it, but it sure isn’t going to be Canada Post and it sure isn’t going to be the CUPW membership. Thus, lines have been drawn and strike action looms.

Canada Post reports that it remains at the bargaining table and CUPW reports that negotiations continue. For today, and Tuesday, mail delivery will continue in Canada. The earliest a Canada Post strike could begin is Wednesday, July 6. It is possible that an agreement will be reached before then.

[Image via Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 1.0]