Postal work­ers table de­mands

The Prince George Citizen - - Worklife -

OT­TAWA — Canada Post and the union rep­re­sent­ing Cana­dian mail car­ri­ers re­main miles apart in con­tract talks as a strike dead­line looms less than two weeks away.

The Cana­dian Union of Postal Work­ers posted its con­tract pro­pos­als on its web­site Fri­day, show­ing a de­mand for 3.5 per cent an­nual wage in­creases over the life of an agree­ment for both ru­ral and ur­ban postal work­ers. On Sept. 7, Canada Post of­fered wage hikes of 1.5 per cent a year.

Postal work­ers will be in a le­gal strike po­si­tion – and Canada Post could lock out its em­ploy­ees – as of Sept. 26 af­ter CUPW’s 42,000 ur­ban mem­bers and 8,000 ru­ral car­ri­ers voted in favour of job ac­tion to back con­tract de­mands.

CUPW also wants hourly pay rates for ru­ral and subur­ban car­ri­ers equiv­a­lent to what ur­ban let­ter car­ri­ers are paid, along with bet­ter job se­cu­rity and min­i­mum guar­an­teed hours – pro­pos­als that the union said have so far been flatly re­jected by Canada Post.

Where there might be room for agree­ment falls un­der the no­tion of ex­pand­ing services at the Crown cor­po­ra­tion.

The union wants Canada Post to of­fer fi­nan­cial or com­mu­nity bank­ing services – some­thing the post of­fice pro­vided decades ago – as well as ex­panded postal services for In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties and broad­band in­ter­net.

CUPW said the lat­est pro­posal from the agency sug­gests it’s pre­pared to of­fer cus­tomers a “se­lected set of new fi­nan­cial services,” but of­fers no de­tails of what those services would in­volve, and no timetable for when they might be launched.

A spokesman for Canada Post has said the com­pany will not talk pub­licly about the con­tract talks, other than to say both sides are work­ing to reach agree­ment with the aid of a third party.

The talks have been on­go­ing since last year.

The union posted de­tails of its lat­est con­tract pro­pos­als on its web­site Fri­day as bar­gain­ing wrapped up for the week.

Fed­eral Labour Min­is­ter Patty Ha­jdu has en­cour­aged both sides to con­tinue ne­go­ti­at­ing.

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