A mail box is seen outside a Canada Post office in Halifax. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

A mail box is seen outside a Canada Post office in Halifax. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Union negotiators say there was little progress during the two and a half weeks that a special mediator was assigned to the Canada Post labour dispute.

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday at different locations across the country, even though both sides have agreed to continue bargaining, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said Monday. Special mediator Morton Mitchnick’s mandate expired Sunday.

The union is frustrated by what is calls the Crown corporation’s perceived unwillingness to address key concerns raised at the bargaining table, CUPW national president Mike Palecek said.

“We remain far apart at this point,” Palecek told The Canadian Press following weekend talks that marked the end of Mitchnick’s mandate.

“Canada Post is still not willing to address our health and safety issues or provide equality to rural and suburban mail carriers… We still haven’t seen management willing to address our core issues.”

READ MORE: Canada Post strikes leave small business in lurch as holidays approach, group says

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned his government might soon act if there’s little progress in the talks, which have been ongoing for nearly a year.

Trudeau did not elaborate on what the Liberals would do to resolve the dispute, but he suggested time is running out to put an end to rotating walkouts that have caused postal-service delays as the busy holiday shopping season ramps up. The strikes started Oct. 22.

A spokeswoman for Labour Minister Patty Hajdu repeated the government’s warning Monday that it might step in, but again provided no details.

“If the parties are unable to achieve a negotiated deal very soon, we will use all options to find a solution to reduce the impacts to Canadians, businesses, Canada Post and their workers,” Veronique Simard wrote in an email.

Canada Post has maintained it has made significant offers to its 50,000 unionized employees that include increased wages, improved benefits and job security. Both sides have also repeatedly insisted they are committed to the collective bargaining process.

The last time the federal government forced an end to a work dispute at Canada Post was in 2011, when the former Conservative government passed back-to-work legislation that was later declared unconstitutional. The move came after postal workers who had walked off the job were later locked out for two weeks by Canada Post management.

The latest round of rotating strikes has forced the shut down of postal operations in more than 150 communities, including Canada Post mail and parcel sorting hubs in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. It has created a backlog in the national distribution network and caused delivery delays, a Canada Post spokesman said last week.

Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Army and Navy was in business for more than a century but closed earlier this year, citing COVID-19 as the cause. The space at Langley Mall has been taken over by McFrugal’s Discount Outlet. (Lisa Farquharson/Black Press Media)
Few closures as Langley businesses battle COVID-19 downturn

Smaller, Canadian chains among casualties locally

Velma MacAllister, coordinator of the Langley Christmas Bureau, holds up donated gift cards at the bureau’s temporary location at Timms Community Centre in Langley City. The bureau is in need of cash, gift card or cheque donations this year to support 800 local families. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Generosity imperative this holiday season

Langley Christmas Bureau is dependent on the donation of gift cards this year

Abbotsford’s Chase Claypool celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown on Sunday. (Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)
Abbotsford’s Chase Claypool scores 10th touchdown

First wide receiver since 1960 to record 10 touchdowns in 10 games, Steelers still unbeaten

Fire crews dealt with a flooding home in Aldergrove last Tuesday night. (Liane Bisaillon/Special to The Star)
Aldergrove woman seeks help with flooded basement after receiving ‘lack of support’

Liane Bisaillon said she has not been able to get a hold of her property manager

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Tabor Home in Abbotsford records 8 deaths and 124 COVID-19 cases

63 per cent of residents at long-term-care facility have tested positive

Most Read