‘All op­tions’ soon pos­si­ble to end Canada Post dis­pute, says Trudeau

The Beacon Herald - - NEWS - TERRY PEDWELL

OT­TAWA — Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is giv­ing in­di­ca­tions that his pa­tience is run­ning out for Canada Post to reach a con­tract set­tle­ment with its union­ized em­ploy­ees as ro­tat­ing strikes con­tinue.

Trudeau says his govern­ment might soon act to end the dis­pute if the Crown cor­po­ra­tion and the Cana­dian Union of Postal Work­ers can’t bridge their dif­fer­ences.

Trudeau com­mented on the dis­pute to­day as CUPW mem­bers ex­panded their ro­tat­ing walk­outs to dozens of lo­ca­tions across the coun­try, in­clud­ing in Que­bec, On­tario, Bri­tish Columbia and Nova Sco­tia.

The job ac­tions have tem­po­rar­ily shut down Canada Post’s op­er­a­tions in more than 150 com­mu­ni­ties since be­ing launched last month.

The Lib­er­als have un­til now said they pre­ferred to see con­tracts reached through col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing.

To help in that process, Labour Min­is­ter Patty Ha­jdu ap­pointed a spe­cial me­di­a­tor in the Canada Post dis­pute a lit­tle over two weeks ago.

Mor­ton Mitch­nick’s man­date has been ex­tended un­til Sun­day but Trudeau said he wants to see progress in the talks, hint­ing at leg­isla­tive ac­tion if there is none.

“Christ­mas sea­son is ap­proach­ing and we know that’s when Cana­di­ans use Canada Post more than at any other time,” the prime min­is­ter said Thurs­day as he en­tered the House of Com­mons for ques­tion pe­riod.

“Of course, man­age­ment and the union both know this.

“But if we don’t see sig­nif­i­cant res­o­lu­tion shortly, all op­tions will be on the ta­ble for re­solv­ing this.”

The two sides have been try­ing to ham­mer out agree­ments for nearly a year with no suc­cess.

Canada Post said ear­lier Thurs­day it was deal­ing with a large back­log of un­de­liv­ered pack­ages as a re­sult of the ro­tat­ing strikes, which it said had grown af­ter its largest pro­cess­ing cen­tre in Toronto was shut down Wed­nes­day for a sec­ond time in three weeks.

The agency’s Toronto sort­ing fa­cil­i­ties are hubs for mail and par­cel de­liv­er­ies across the coun­try and were shut by the union for two con­sec­u­tive days in Oc­to­ber.

In this Sept. 26, 2018 photo, a Canada Post worker walks to his truck in Rich­mond, B.C. Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau hinted on Thurs­day that backto-work leg­is­la­tion could be on the ta­ble to re­solve the Canada Post dis­pute.

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