Canada Post union cancels announcement as strike mandate set to expire
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has abruptly cancelled a news conference Thursday, prompting speculation there may be progress in negotiations with the letter carrier.
The union had been expected to give a 72-hour strike notice before their mandate to do so expires at midnight.
“If nothing changes between now and tomorrow, we will be issuing our 72-hour notice of strike activity,” the union had said Wednesday evening.
But just minutes before that was supposed to happen, the union cancelled the event.
“Today’s press conference has been postponed until further notice,” the union said, offering no additional details. “More information will be out shortly.”
That’s a clear suggestion that there are developments in the negotiations. Whether they are positive or negative remains to be seen.
The union has been negotiating with the Crown corporation On behalf of 51,000 postal workers across the country for months, trying to hammer out an agreement on wage discrepancies between rural and urban carriers, and a proposal to change the makeup of the pension plan.
The two sides appeared to be on the brink of a labour stoppage in July, before agreeing to two more months of intense negotiations. At the time, the union had a strong strike mandate from its members, before the two sides mutually agreed to extend it by 60 days.
That time frame is set to expire at midnight eastern time on Thursday.
If a strike isn’t announced by then, the union must seek a new mandate from their membership for a job action.
That process could take weeks, which would push any union-led job action into the fall. Alternatively, the company is already in a position to lock out its workers as they have been without a collective agreement for months.